Best Welder For Beginners – Reviews And Buying Guide 2018

PreviewNameAwardsPurchase

Hobart

Best MIG Welder

Miller Electric

Best TIG Welder

Amico

Best Multifunction Welder

Whether you work on cars or you design metal furniture, the welder is a must-have tool for your tasks. Welders are there when you need them and help you to join metal where you need the strength. The trouble is that most people don’t know how to find the best welder for beginners. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide that offers the best welder for beginners reviews.

Even if you’re not a beginner, you’re sure to find a model that works for you in this list as well.


Best Welder For Beginners Reviews


 

Best MIG Welder for Beginners

If you’re a beginner in need of the best MIG welder, we found five models that might work for you. Evaluate each unit to determine which one has the features you need.

 

1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Hobart 500559

5-position voltage control selector adds a smooth, stable arc at all welding thicknesses

With this Hobart MIG welder, there are no extra components you need to get started other than the cylinder. Simply take the flux-cored wire spool which produces plenty of inert gas on its own.

This unit features a 25 to 140 amperage range while operating at 115 volts. With a duty cycle of 20%, you can work for two minutes without interruption on 90 amps.

This machine also offers five adjustable settings. Most other models feature just four, so you get more versatility with this machine. This allows you to control the rate you feed the welding wire into the gun at.

With this welder, it’s easy to work with a wide range of material thickness as well. Because of the well-control voltage, you receive a perfectly MIG welded piece when you’re finished.

This machine also comes with a 200-amp work clamp. This allows you to complete heavy-duty jobs with ease.

This machine is a best-seller on Amazon for a good reason. Keep in mind that this level of quality does come at a price. Expect to pay slightly more to receive this machine than you would a budget-friendly alternative.

Another downside to this welder is the level of vibration it produces. It isn’t something that most people will struggle with; it’s simply more of an annoyance.

Check out this video posted by Hobart in relation to their product:

What Customers Say:

The main thing people noticed about this welder was the top-notch quality. Here’s what one user commented, “When comparing this welder to ‘similar’ welders at the local box stores, the differences start to become clear as soon as you open the box. This Hobart welder is much more solidly constructed than a ‘similar’ (name brand) welder that I recently purchased at one of the box stores, in every respect.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 11 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 65 pounds
  • Amperage output: 25–140
  • Duty cycle: 20% @ 90 amps
  • Warranty: 5-year limited
  • Additional features: five-position voltage control
PROS:
  • Plenty of power
  • Five adjustable voltage controls
  • Works with a wide variety of thickness
  • Comes with a five-year warranty
  • Durable construction

CONS:
  • On the expensive side for a beginner model
  • Vibrates


 

2. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit

Forney Easy Weld 29901

Individual part numbers included for easy reorder

If you want the best welder for beginners with a package deal, the Forney Easy Weld is right for you. This set gives you not just the welder, but also a spool of MIG wire, a helmet plus a pair of high-quality welding gloves. Even though all of that’s included, the price is still reasonable.

There’s no gas required with this unit because the welding wires utilize a CO2 and argon mixture all ready to go. Welding spatter remains at a minimum and you’ll have plenty of speed to get your jobs done quickly. You’ll find it even works great on thicker steel.

The lightweight helmet resists impact and is also fireproof. There’s an adjustable headband plus five-point gear. It features auto darkening to give you the comfort and security you need.

At just over 32 pounds, you’ll find this machine is also portable. You can take it with you wherever you need to weld for maximum versatility. It’s an ideal option for all DIYers, maintenance workers or for fabricators and repair staff.

With that said, there are a few drawbacks. First, this welder only features a six-month warranty. We aren’t thrilled with that and wish it was slightly longer. It also isn’t designed to do heavy-duty work on a long-term basis. We recommend sticking to 20-gauge tubing or lower.

Forney posted a video about this unit on YouTube if you want more information:

What Customers Say:

Most people are amazed at how much you receive for the price. Here’s what one customer had to say, “I can’t believe I got all this for such a low price. This welder can do good structural work, and it can do light artist work. I’ll probably use it for both, and I would recommend it for both.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 24.5 x 25 inches
  • Weight: 32.6 pounds
  • Amperage output: 125
  • Duty cycle: 20% @ 90 amps
  • Warranty: 6-month limited
  • Additional features: comes with helmet, gloves and wire
PROS:
  • Complete starter package
  • Lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Ideal for a beginner user
  • No gas needed

CONS:
  • Minimal warranty coverage
  • Not designed for heavy-duty use


 

3. Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130 AC Welder

Super Deal MIG130

Uses convenient Flux - Cored wire, self release metal-inert gas while welding, prevent oxidation of the welded part

The first thing most people notice about this best welder for beginners model is the grip construction. The handle is easy to hold and comfortable. You won’t get tired in the middle of a job while using this machine.

With the Flux Cored MIG welding wires, there’s always a shielding effect in action. The inert metal gas gets released by its filler. Plus, you don’t need gas to operate this unit. On top of that, it’s lightweight at just 38 pounds, making it easy to transport to your next project.

The interface on this rig is communicative so you always know what’s going on. If you choose to venture into the advanced levels, it’s easy to make that leap. This machine also provides a variable thermal control. The max-min switch allows you to control it across the entire job, but the 1-2 switches give you more precise controls.

Because there are ten levels of wire feeding speed, you also have control over how fast the wire get fed into the gun. The package comes complete with a spool of wire, a torch, ground cord, musk, chipping hammer, and a brush. There’s isn’t much else you need to get started other than your protective gear.

When you turn your power switch on, you’ll notice that the wire is hot. This isn’t the best design for safety, so it’s something to be careful of as a beginner. In addition, some people noticed that the wire lining was prone to snapping. If you use your machine with care, you shouldn’t have an issue. Plus, you can’t expect too much with a budget-friendly price such as this one.

What Customers Say:

It’s clear that this machine will never perform like something that’s top of the line. For the price, most people seemed thrilled with what they did get. Here’s what one of the users had to say, “Great for learning how to set your feed and amp and learning to read a puddle. I got more penetration from this welder than I expected when welding a horizontal butt joint on 1/4″ so bravo. I give this product a 5 star because I got what I paid for.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 15.4 x 13 inches
  • Weight: 38 pounds
  • Amperage output: 50-120
  • Duty cycle: 10% @ 105 amps; 35% @ 60 amps
  • Warranty: none listed
  • Additional features: easy to use interface
PROS:
  • Comfortable to use
  • Lightweight
  • Simple interface
  • Best for a beginner user
  • No gas needed

CONS:
  • No warranty information
  • Wire gets hot


 

4. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core

Lincoln Electric K2278

Plugs into household 115V, 20 amp outlet

Novices often agree this is the best welder for beginners because of how simple it is to set up. The compact body is sturdy and fits in most any places. You don’t have to lift any gas cylinders with this FCAW welder, which also allows for easy operation.

This plugs into a standard household outlet and is easy to carry at just 45 pounds. That means you can take it anywhere you want to go. In addition, you can expect a clean weld that only leaves behind strong metal joints.

This machine comes at a reasonable price plus it has a 12-month warranty on parts and labor. The only downside to this machine is that you won’t be able to weld thick gauge materials – it is strictly for thin gauge only. In addition, it doesn’t get as hot as some machines, so you’ll need to work harder. On the other hand, it’s also safer for beginner users.

Take a quick look at this video for more information:

What Customers Say:

If you need the best welder for beginners, this unit won’t disappoint. Read what this one user said, “am no expert welder, but I needed a rig that could assist me in getting some old stubborn broke off exhaust manifold bolts out of my truck. Man, I was not disappointed at all by the performance of this welder, I believe you are getting more for what you pay.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 15 x 11 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Amperage output: 35-88
  • Duty cycle: 20% @ 70 amps
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • Additional features: lightweight
PROS:
  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to operate
  • Ideal for beginners
  • No gas needed

CONS:
  • Not good for heavy gauges
  • Doesn’t get hot enough for heavy-duty work


 

5. Goplus MIG 130 Welder

Goplus MIG 130

Flux-Cored Wire, No Gas Welder uses convenient Flux-Cored wire, self release metal-inert gas while welding, prevent oxidation of the welded part.

For the last best welder for beginners in the MIG category, we have this option from Goplus. It offers a long lifespan thanks to the stainless steel construction that maintains optimal sturdiness. It’s also compact but remains heavy-duty and capable.

Just like the other options so far, this doesn’t require a gas cylinder for operation. The inert metal gas coming from the wire electrode is plenty to prevent contamination. Many people like the ability to adjust the flow with four varying level settings. This allows the machine to become more versatile than many others.

In addition, you have ten-speed levels to feed the wire. This keeps everything within your control; all you must do is adjust the knob. With the included air vents, it’s also simple to release the heat.

For additional safety, turn the gun on or off with the simple control. There’s also heat protection and a triangle ground cord to ensure your safety. With this package, you receive most everything needed to get started. It comes with the welding wire, protection mask, chipping hammer and brush. You could get started as soon as you receive this machine if you wanted to.

You aren’t going to find many welders for this low of a price and only weighing 35 pounds. On the other hand, it doesn’t have the heavy-duty capability. For beginners, it’s also possible that the feed rate is a bit more than what’s needed.

Check out the video on this welder for more information:

What Customers Say:

If you aren’t expecting a professional unit, but desire the best welder for beginners, you can’t be disappointed with this model. Check out what this customer said, “Worth every darn penny. The wire that comes with it was great for sheet metal work. My buddy borrowed it and put the cheap harbor freight 30 wire in it, and the thing just cranks out welds.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 35 pounds
  • Amperage output: 50-105
  • Duty cycle: 15% @ 105 amps
  • Warranty: none noted
  • Additional features: complete kit
PROS:
  • Offers numerous components
  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight
  • Contains safety features

CONS:
  • No warranty info
  • Feed rate too high for beginners


 

Best TIG Welder for Beginners

If you’re more interested in finding a TIG model as the best welder for beginners, we have a few options for you to consider.

 

1. Miller Electric TIG Welder

Miller Electric TIG

It has dc inverter with lift arc features

Before you balk at the price of this welder, you need to understand all the features it comes with. Not only is this system lightweight at 40 pounds for the entire kit, but it works on standard wall outlets and 220v as well.

This exceptional unit welds 3/8-inch thick steel with ease. All you have to do to get started is touch the tungsten. Then, you’ll control the conduction through the foot pedal or dial.

This system features an amperage of 5 to 150 while the duty cycle remains at 30%. There’s a slight increase to 35% @ 115 volts with 20-100 amps of power. Most people like that there is no manual gas valve required to get the weld they desire.

In this package, you receive plugs, remote control and a torch. You shouldn’t need to buy much else to get started. Aside from the price, the only downside to this machine is that it only welds steel. If you have other metals you want to work with, you’ll need a different unit.

What Customers Say:

What’s most exceptional about this unit is the durability it offers. In fact, one user had this to say, “We bought this welder when they first came out, we bought the foot pedal and high freq and a good weldcraft tig torch. I would guess it is close to 10 years old and has been used in an Industrial environment by many.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 5.5 x 9 inches
  • Weight: 40 pounds
  • Amperage output: 5-150
  • Duty cycle: 35% @ 115 amps
  • Warranty: none noted
  • Additional features: complete kit
PROS:
  • Comes with many components
  • No gas required
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight
  • Plugs into 110 or 220-volt outlets

CONS:
  • High price
  • Only works with steel


 

2. 2018 AHP AlphaTIG 200X

AHP AlphaTIG 200X

2018 models are in ! 200HRTZ on PULSE FREQ AND AC FREQ and NEW TORCH

If you want a lower cost TIG welding option, check out this model from AHP. It’s geared toward the thinner gauges so you can effectively weld steel or aluminum. In addition, you can power this unit with a 110-volt outlet or 220, making it completely versatile.

This advanced welder offers some unique inverter technology. Its IGBT controls fast switching plus modulation of the pulse width. On top of that, users experience maximum control with the high-frequency start. With the foot pedal, you can free up a hand to perform other operations.

The separate TIG control switch and flex hose torch are also provided with this machine. This welder features plenty of power with a 10-200 amp range. It also has a duty cycle of 60% at 200.

Even still, there are a few drawbacks to this unit. First of all, it weighs 69 pounds which makes it hard to take with you. You’ll want to use this welder in one place instead of using it as a portable option. Another drawback is that some customers seem to have trouble with support. There have been times when systems went unrepaired completely.

Check out a complete unboxing of this welder on YouTube:

What Customers Say:

With most customers giving this unit a five-star review, it would be worth investing money into. Here’s what one user thought, “I’m genuinely impressed with how well this machine works for the money. The maker space I belong to has a Miller Syncrowave 180 and I genuinely prefer using this AHP machine. I went back and forth between this welder and some of the everlasts for a while, and I’m 100% happy with my decision.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 23 x 12 inches
  • Weight: 69 pounds
  • Amperage output: 10-200
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 200 amps
  • Warranty: none noted
  • Additional features: gas-free design
PROS:
  • Versatile
  • Fast switching
  • Convenient foot pedal
  • Large amp range
  • Comes with TIG control switch and flex hose torch

CONS:
  • Heavy
  • Trouble with customer support


 

3. Thermadyne W1003202 95 Amp Stick/Lift TIG Welding System

Thermadyne W1003202

The Thermal Arc 95 S Inverter is a versatile multi-process machine with stick and lift TIG capability

f you want a high-quality TIG welder, but aren’t looking to spend a thousand dollars, this might be the best welder for beginners. This thermal arc inverter welder offers portability and affordability in a perfect package.

While running on a common household outlet, this system provides 95 amps of welding power. That allows you to create a clean weld for light maintenance work and many repairs. In addition, the machine itself only weighs ten pounds. This means you could take this anywhere you desire. In fact, it’s one of the most portable we’ve ever seen.

The unit does ship with a ground clamp and electrode holder. Plus it comes with a case and set up DVD if you need help getting started. You can use this machine for most repairs, sheet metal fabrication and maintenance. It would be ideal for any hobbyist, automotive repair person or farm worker.

There are some downsides to the machine because nothing in life is perfect. First of all, it does only come with a one-year warranty. We wish it was slightly longer for the amount of money being invested. In addition, this machine isn’t going to handle larger materials. For most beginners, this is adequate for their needs.

What Customers Say:

There aren’t a lot of reviews yet on this system, but so far, everything seems good. One user wrote, “This welder is excellent in the fact it comes with a hard carrying case that everything fits in nicely, it is ultra-portable, and the adjustability is a very nice addition.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 7.3 x 19.3 x 16.3 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Amperage output: up to 95
  • Duty cycle: unknown
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Additional features: runs on a household outlet
PROS:
  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Comes with case
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Handy DVD setup guide for additional help

CONS:
  • Short 1-year warranty
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty projects


 

Best Multi-Function Welder for Beginners

If you want the most versatility you can find, you’ll want to invest in a multi-function welder. Here are our top choices as the best welder for beginners.

 

1. 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder Dual Voltage IGBT Welding

Amico 200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick

Powerful welder capable of welding up to 1/2

What’s great about this welder is that even though it’s a TIG model, it offers so much versatility. On top of that, the price is far lower than what you would expect to pay. You can use any power supply to get your equipment up and running; either 110 or 220v will suffice.

The TIG welding output is 200 amps at 60% duty cycle, and the MMA welding output is 180 amps at 60% duty cycle. This allows you to weld any kind of steel, copper chrome and cast iron.

When you’re done, you’ll love that there’s not a lot of cleanup to perform. There’s minimal spatter, so you can spend more time focusing on the task at hand. You will utilize a torch for your welding projects powered by an oxy-acetylene gas. In addition, it features an electrode holder and 10-foot long 300 amp cable to make life easier.

At just 25 pounds, you’ll also find that this unit is lightweight and easy to take on the go. Perform your tasks anywhere, anytime.

There are a few things that might bother you about this welder. First, the controlling knob is a little sensitive. You might not appreciate the lack of precise dialing. It’s also slightly difficult to get set up in comparison to some other options.

If you want to see a video review, we’ve got one:

What Customers Say:

With about ¾ of customers giving this a 5-star review, you know it has to be a great welder. Here’s what one person said, “So I was a little nervous because of the low cost, but this welder is fantastic. I’m a hobby welder. I make things on the weekends. So far this welder has been fantastic. I have it plugged into a 30 amp outlet. It strikes really easy.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 16.6 x 11.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Amperage output: up to 200
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 200 amps
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Additional features: runs on 110 or 220v
PROS:
  • Portable
  • Versatile
  • Minimal spatter
  • Works on many materials
  • Low cost

CONS:
  • Dial is sensitive
  • Not easy to setup


 

2. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp TIG ARC MMA

SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp

2.HF Start-easy arc starting and improvers tungsten life, Fan cooling system, Compact portable design and light weight

If you’re looking for another multi-purpose welder with a low price tag, this might be the best welder for beginners to suit your needs. It has some innovative technologies included, so don’t let the price scare you away. The HF easy-start arc improves the life of the machine and there’s even a fan-cooling system to improve the duty cycle.

This system is perfect for most any high-frequency DC TIG or MMA welding. It’s durable and meant to last. Plus, the company guarantees it will start 100% of the time.

You can effectively weld steel, nickel alloys, brass, stainless steel, copper or bronze with this unit. The only thing you shouldn’t use it on is aluminum. With the over-voltage protection, you feel safe and secure during operation.

This machine is lightweight at just 22 pounds making it easy to take with you. While it makes a great entry-level machine, it isn’t designed for heavy-duty professional use. In addition, some people claim to have trouble with support, so it’s something to keep in mind.

What Customers Say:

For the customers who realize this is an entry-level option, there have been favorable reviews. Here’s what one user had to say, “I was looking for an entry-level welder for my son with TIG capabilities for down the road and recently purchased this unit since I wasn’t looking to break the bank. So far, he has used it for basic manual metal arc welding and he is getting the hang of it quickly. The documentation included is relatively easy to follow and the unit is compact.”

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 13.7 x 5.5 x 10.4 inches
  • Weight: 22.1 pounds
  • Amperage output: up to 200
  • Duty cycle: 60% @ 200 amps
  • Warranty: 1-year limited
  • Additional features: Over-voltage protection
PROS:
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Provides over-voltage protection
  • Comes with fan-cooling system

CONS:
  • Trouble with customer service
  • Not designed for professional use


 

What is a Welder?

Think of your welder just like you would glue, except you aren’t working with paper, you’re dealing with metal. The welder uses a heating process that melts down material to make it join together. There are three parts to the welding process:

  • Arc of welding
  • Filler material
  • Shielding of the weld

The welding arcs are the sparks you see. It’s what’s generated when the welding machine completes a closed electrical path through voltage.

Filler metals come in two types: welding wires or stick electrodes. Welding wires come in either the tubular form or flux core. They can also be bare solid wires. These welding wires come packaged on a spool.

The shielding process uses gas produced from the filler when it’s heated. This prevents the weld from becoming contaminated and allows it the time to settle.

Finding the Best Welder for Beginners

Finding the best welder for beginners requires some skill, but we’ve got the complete rundown of what to look for. Start by examining your needs. Then, you need to determine what type of material you’ll be welding. Aside from that, there are other factors like the metal thickness, welding speed and portability.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle simply points to a time period. It’s how long the welder is capable of operating under the temperature limit. You’ll need to consider the time to determine your output. You’ll find the duty cycle listed by percentage and labeled by 10-minute continuous operation cycles.

So, if you have a duty cycle of 30% for MIG welding listed at 23 volts and 180 amps, this means you can weld for three minutes. The remainder of the ten-minute cycle needs to be cool down time.

The higher the output, the more the cycle recedes, so you must consider this aspect.

Amperage

Welding is performed through arcs which is an electric current pathway. That’s why amperage needs consideration as well. When choosing your amperage, you’ll have to look at the thickness of your materials.

You’ll require about an amp of current to work with each 0.001-inch of material. If you have a quarter-inch piece of steel, you’ll need 140 amps and so on.

Shielding Gas

While this isn’t a part of the best welder for beginners, it’s still an aspect of the process. Some welders don’t require any gas so this might not be applicable to everyone.

When dealing with MIG welding, the steel works best when treated with a blend of helium (90%), argon (7.5%) and carbon dioxide (2.5%). TIG welding handles all combinations.

Inverter vs Transformer Welder

Inverters are large and their basic function is to convert AC power to DC. This requires 208 to 460 volts. The inverter excels at welding thin materials. The gun is smaller and allows a better shape to the arc cone.

A transformer steps down the voltage and boosts up the current. That’s why they work best on large, thick pieces.

Name Brand

If you want the best welder for beginners, you’ll want to purchase a name brand welder. If you buy a Hobart, Lincoln or Miller Electric, you can be sure nothing’s going to go wrong. Each of them has superior support and durable machinery.

Circuits

If you weld at low amps, then a household outlet should be a sufficient source for your welder. Once you start moving into the 160A machines, you’ll need a 220V connection.

Your Skill Level

It’s crucial that you come to terms with your skill level. Most times, beginners do best with a MIG welder. These work good with aluminum and steel, are often cheaper, plus they weld thick materials. TIG welding is best for advanced users, but some beginners opt for this route because of the versatility.

Main Features You Need on an Entry-Level Welder

With all the features available on the best welder for beginners, it might be tricky determining what you really need. Here are a few of the main features you should look for.

Dial-in Settings

Some welders give you the option to input the type of metal you’re using and the thickness of your material. This way, you know that you’ll have the best bead for your situation and won’t have to guess at the proper setting.

With a high-quality welder, you’ll also receive a notification if your settings aren’t acceptable for what that machine handles.

Portability

For people that need to transport their welder, it’s important that the best welder for beginners be lightweight and portable. You’ll also want something that runs on either DC or AC for maximum versatility.

If you want to take your welder on the go, a TIG or stick welder could easily weigh over 100 pounds. This isn’t an easy machine for carrying with you.

Hot Starts

The best welder for beginners might come equipped with a hot start. This feature boosts the current for a short time to free up the wire or rod. Once the arc is initiated, this feature turns off.

Inverter

On some projects, you’ll find that having an inverter is helpful. This option on the best welder for beginners allows you an increase in the dig of the weld. It creates a stiff, driving arc and prevents sticking from an overhead project.

Dual-Voltage Welder

Another option you might come across when searching out the best welder for beginners is a dual-voltage option. These machines utilize both a 115 and 230-volt operation. Being able to use either of these outlets creates maximum versatility, but also raises the price.


 

Conclusion

Welding is fun, but it requires some learning and experience. To be the best you can be, it’s important to invest in the best welder for beginners. When you do this, you set yourself up to complete the job with ease and learn quickly. Evaluate the options we’ve given you to find the model that works best for you.

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