Best Welding Machines (January 2020) – Complete Guide

Something that as important as a job itself is the tools used to complete that job.

Many projects require more than just tools, but different processes too.

In the case of welding, it is vital that you choose the correct process as well as the correct tools.

This is irrespective of motivation, do-it-yourselves, motivations, needs or interests.

It does not matter whether you are a novice, a hobbyist, and even a professional. You are looking for the best welding machine suitable for specific jobs.

Below we give everyone a complete guide on how to choose the best welding machine and each process that is required to complete different jobs according to metals used and thickness too.

Welding process depends Which metal do you want to weld?

When Choose a welder, an individual needs to look at the Amps for the jobs intended to weld.

As a general rule, anyone welding would need fewer Amps for thinner materials and more Amps for thicker.

The welding process would also depend on the type of welder you are going to buy.

When doing automotive work and thinner type of materials you would find that 30Amps are adequate.

When welding thicker materials ranging between 4 to 5 mm you will look at welders with more Amps.

Types of Welding:

Unfortunately, there is nobody that will find a one-size-fits-all welding process and thus need a job-specific process.

There are three commonly used welding processes available; TIG, MIG, and Stick. Each one of these has limitations and advantages.

You want to avoid frustration and save time and money too Which is the correct method required.

We will be breaking down the individual processes for all level welders in order to pick the best welding machine and the process too.

TIG Welding:

TIG welding is the acronym for Tungsten Inert Gas and widely considered as major league welding.

It certainly is one of the most beautiful, efficient and cleanest welding processes. Professional ornamental and artist welders often prefer TIG welding for its overall neat look and the precision it offers.

Advantages

Here a welder has the most aesthetically pleasing and cleanest work. It offers excellent control over the welding, which results in a high-quality, strong weld.

Disadvantages

TIG is the hardest welding process to learn as you need to use a foot and both hands simultaneously.

It is a slower process than Stick and MIG and surfaces must be immaculate before anyone could start welding.

MIG Welding:

MIG welding is the acronym for metal inert gas and easy to learn and the only complexity is to know which parameter settings and gas to use in the process. It's a ideal process for rookie welders.

Advantages

MIG welding creates high-strength welding with a great appearance. It is a quick process and welders use shielding gas.

It can be used on all surfaces and all metal thicknesses even as thin as 26-gauge.

Disadvantages

Due to gasses involved MIG welding is rather cumbersome to use outdoors. 

Stick Welding:

Stick welding is the most commonly used as the simplest, oldest and most budget-friendly option between the three processes. 

With this process you can weld gates, driveway or farm equipment even it dirty or rusty.

So, if you need to weld outdoor then it will be perfect fit for you. 

Advantages

Stick welding is versatile and used on copper alloys, nickel, aluminum, steel, and iron. It can bond effectively even when a surface is dirty or even rusty.

Any individual from novices to professionals can do stick welding outdoors even in bad weather conditions.

Disadvantages

The downside is the appearance of stick welding as it is not as neat as the other two processes.

While welding the project could be splattered with molten which requires sanding and cleaning.

Stick welding creates metal slag and fumes, so you need to consider when it using indoor.


Best Welding Machine Reviews


1. AHP Alpha TIG 200 AC DC Tig/Stick Welder- TOP PICK

AHP Alpha TIG 200 AC DC Tig/Stick Welder

The AHP Alpha is an affordable, high-quality TIG welder capable of material like steel, stainless and aluminum as well as stick welding.


  • Portable weighing 50 pounds.
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Welds steel, stainless, aluminum.
  • TIG and Stick welding
  • The dual voltage of 200A output on 240V and 140A output on 120V.
  • 9ft ground clamp and foot pedal.
  • Welds up to 1/4 -inch aluminum and 3/8 -inch mild steel.
  • The duty cycle of 35% @ 155A for Stick welding.
  • The duty cycle of 60% @ 200A for TIG welding.


  • Foot pedal feels stiff to control.
  • Fans are noisy.
  • Panels options could be confusing.

2. ​Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder

Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder

The Hobart 500559 is simple to use and uses a household 115V outlet. It is suitable for flux cored and MIG welding jobs.


  • 25 - 140 Amps.
  • Five temperature settings.
  • Welding materials from24 gauge to mild ¼ inch thick steel.
  • Resetting thermal overload correction.
  • Five voltage control settings.
  • The weight of 57 pounds making it portable.
  • 20% duty cycle at 90 Amps.


  • Restricted steel welding thickness and suitable for light jobs.
  • Gas cylinders must be purchased separately.

3. ​Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i

Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i

The Hobart weight under 20 pounds making it very portable with MVP adapter to change between 120V and 240V. It comes with a 10 feet electrode cable with a clamp and uses hot start technology.


  • 120V/240V Power.
  • Welds up to 5/32-inch mild steel.
  • Lightweight at 15 pounds.
  • Corded electric.
  • 5000 watts.
  • DC output.


  • Duty cycle under 20%

4. Miller Electric Maxstar 150 stl

Miller Electric Maxstar 150 stlMiller Electric Maxstar 150 stl

The Miller Maxstar 150 STL Electric is a TIG and Stick welder that is suitable for automotive use, maintenance and small repairs with a mild-steel capability of 0.020-inches and up to 3/16 inches.


  • Output Amps of 150 @16 V.
  • Input Amps of 28/14.2.
  • TIG and stick welding.
  • Mild-steel material thickness 0.020 inches and up to 3/16 inches.
  • Lightweight at 14 pounds.
  • Duty cycle of 30%.
  • DC inverter with Lift Arc.
  • Pulse capability is good for thin stainless-steel welding.


  • Lower Amps limits material thickness.

5. Amico Dual Voltage Welder 160- BUDGET PICK

Amico Dual Voltage Welder 160Amico Dual Voltage Welder 160

The Amico is an innovative inverter welder that switches from AC to DC power while automatically producing the correct current and voltage depending on what the welding job requires.


  • Versatile 115V/230V @ 60Hz input.
  • Versatile 20 Amp 160Amp 23V @ 60% Duty cycle.
  • Plugs into household 110V wall socket.
  • Very lightweight and portable at 16 pounds.
  • A maximum metal thickness weld of 3/16 – inches.
  • Uses 1/8 rods.
  • Welds any materials.
  • LED Display.


  • Weight is concentrated on the back of the welder, it can feel unbalanced.

6. Hobart Handler 210 MVP

Hobart Handler 210 MVPHobart Handler 210 MVP

The Hobart Handler 210 MVP is a dual gauge that allows welders to switch between 230 V and domestic power.


  • Easily welds non-ferrous materials like aluminium.
  • Switch between 110 or 230V
  • Works with 4-inch and 8-inch reels.
  • Variable voltage control.
  • Smooth wire feeding.


  • Rather heavier compared to other welders at 90 pounds.

7. Forney 324 190 amp

Forney 324 190 ampForney 324 190 amp

The 190-Amp Forney is one of the best multifunctional welders available on the market to buy.

It offers MIG, Stick, TIG and Flux-core welding and outstanding power voltage options.


  • Welding processes include TIG, MIG, Stick and Flux Cored.
  • Welds up to 5/32-inch mild steel.
  • Multi-functional means it welds any materials.
  • Amperage capacity of 190A.
  • Electric corded power source.
  • External back connection for gas.
  • Welds up to ¼ inch steel.
  • Up to weld 120 and 230V.


  • TIG and Stick is AC only

8. Lotos CT520D 50 AMP Air Plasma Cutter, 200 AMP Tig and Stick Welder

Lotos CT520D 50 AMP Air Plasma Cutter, 200 AMP Tig and Stick WelderLotos CT520D 50 AMP Air Plasma Cutter, 200 AMP Tig and Stick Welder

The Lotos is a three-in-one combination welder capable of welding TIG and Stick and a dual voltage welder with 50AMP Plasma Cutter Output.


  • TIG welding is 15 – 200 AMP DC for steel or stainless steel.
  • Stick welding is 15 - 200 AMP DC for various steel types.
  • Plasma Cutter offers 50 AMP output with the maximum cutting thickness of ½-inch.
  • Auto dual voltage running directly on 220V 50/69 Hz power.
  • Very lightweight at only 38.5 pounds.
  • Plug into 120 V outlet to use.


  • Only DC output.

9. LOTOS TIG200 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG/Stick Welder

LOTOS TIG200 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG/Stick WelderLOTOS TIG200 200A AC/DC Aluminum TIG/Stick Welder

The LOTOS TIG200 is excellent for beginner welders and designed for small jobs like a motorcycle and automotive jobs, small object hobbies and home use.


  • Weld soft metals up to ¼ -inch
  • Square wave inverter.
  • Duty cycle of 100% for low amp jobs.
  • High-frequency start.
  • Operates on dual-frequency and dual voltage of 110V or 220V.
  • AC/DC Powered.
  • TIG output 10 – 200A.
  • Stick output 30 – 200A.


  • No auto Amperage.
  • No variable foot pedal.

10. Lincoln Electric K2185-1

Lincoln Electric K2185-1Lincoln Electric K2185-1

The Handy MIG is user-friendly with four voltage settings and adjustable speed settings that welds mild steel that ranges between 24 gauge and up to 1/8-inches in thickness.


  • Flux cored and MIGFlux cored and MIG.
  • Power input of 115/1/60.
  • Uses household 115V 20 Amp outlet.
  • 35 to 88 Amps output.
  • Welds up to 1/8-inch mild steel.
  • AC and DC outputs.
  • Fan cooled.
  • Portable, compact and lightweight.


  • Not suitable for hard steel.
  • Shielding gas not included.

11. Forney 299 125FC Flux Core

Forney 299 125FC Flux CoreForney 299 125FC Flux Core

The Forney is suitable for Flux Core welding and a 120 Volt, 125 Amp welder.


  • Ten heat settings.
  • Gas-less Flux Core welder.
  • Uses.030 flux core wire.
  • 120 V - 125 Amp.


  • Only welds between 24 gauge and ¼ inch metals

12. Sun Gold Power Digital Display Welder

Sun Gold Power Digital Display WelderSun Gold Power Digital Display Welder

The Sungoldpower offers dual voltage of 110V or 220V with advanced IGBT control offering the ability to weld different kinds of ferrous materials like alloy steel, medium carbon steel and low carbon steel.


  • Frequency of 50Hz/60Hz.
  • Input voltage of AC 220V and 110V
  • Anti-stick technology.
  • Auto hot-start.
  • Adjustable arc force.
  • Output of 200A/28V.
  • Duty cycle of 60%.
  • Very lightweight at 6.8 kg.
  • LCD display.
  • DC Inverter welder.


  • Sluggish starts.

13. EVERLAST PowerARC 200ST

EVERLAST PowerARC 200STEVERLAST PowerARC 200ST

The EVERLAST is a 200 A TIG and Stick welder with 200Amp welding power with an E6010 connection port that allows for E6010 welding when using cellulose-based welding ports.


  • Comes in standard and 6010 operating modes.
  • Auto-adaptive hot start.
  • Auto-regulated Arc force.
  • Digital display
  • Stick and TIG welding capable.
  • 120V and 240V TIG Amps.
  • Dual voltage phase Amps 120V at 120 Amp and 240V at 200 Amps
  • Stick auto adaptive hot-start.
  • TIG lift start only.
  • Recommended metals to weld, chrome moly, aluminium, steel and stainless steel.


  • DC output only.
  • Does not have a foot pedal.

14. Lincoln Electric K1170

Lincoln Electric K1170Lincoln Electric K1170

The Lincoln Electric offers a broad welding range and material capability with an output range of 40 to 225 Amps welding materials from 16 gauge and higher.


  • Smooth ARC welding from 40 to 225 Amps.
  • Welding metals of 16 gauge and more.
  • Materials include stainless steel, low alloy, carbon, as well as cast iron.
  • 15 feet welding cord.
  • 20% duty cycle at 225V.


  • Not very portable at 115 pounds.

What to look for before buying best welding machine?

When buying a welder, it is a long-term decision that saves on repair costs, adds additional income or completing hobbies.

Our guide is here to help you as the options could be overwhelming. Before you buy a welder though ask yourself some important questions.

  1. What type of welding do you plan to do?
  2. Will you be doing different welding in the future?
  3. What materials do you plan on welding?
  4. Can you support the voltage required?
  5. Where do you plan to weld, indoors or outdoors?
  6. Do you have enough patience to learn a complicated welding technique?

Metal thickness

There are have welders that offer a limited range of welding allowing only thin metals.

When you want to work with a range of materials and metal thicknesses you need a higher-powered unit like a 220V Stick or 175V to 251V MIG welder.

Voltage

Choosing a welder that offers higher voltage means it works with thicker metals.

However, higher-powered welders also require power supply set up like appropriate power outlet or generators. 

Welders running more than 115 V typically cost more to operate and cannot run from a household power outlet.

Budget

A budget is equally important, and you probably have your price range ready.

To determine how much your projects could possibly cost, consider the supplies and accessories that will be needed to accompany the welder. 

Some does come complete and you do not have to buy any accessories, except for consumables or gas if the choice falls on a welder with gas support.

Portability ( indoor, outdoor )

Aside from its voltage and capabilities, the portability is equally important since it will determine the possible use.

If the plan is to work outdoors only, you do not want a welder operating with gas that might be a problem in windy conditions.

If the plan is to do only indoor welding, your options should not be limited to the weight and bulkiness of the welder.

Small and big jobs that will be done outside requires that you look at its portability.


Final Verdict...

As mentioned throughout our Best Welding Review, there is never only one welder that can do absolutely everything you desire.

Your primary objective before investing in any kind or model welder is to determine what you would want to use it on.

Decide whether it will do the same type of welding for the next 6 months and longer and conclude your needs.

We can only give all levels of welders our view on which we would prefer in each one of the different welding processes.

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