Best Cheap Stick Welder Under $500 Today [2021]

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Best Cheap Stick Welder Under $500: SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 200

SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT Inverter 200A Aluminum Welding Soldering Machine Gas Shielded/Gasless Flux Cored Wire Solid Core Wire Welding Equipment

The one stick welder model that stood out the most from the sea of 40-plus welders in our shop is the SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 200.

It’s a MIG welder first and a stick welder second, but it works absolutely beautifully in both modes.

You can find the SUNGOLDPOWER 200’s key specifications below—

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Power
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • MIG + Flux-Cored Compatible

As previously stated, the MIG 200 is a MIG welder first. It can deliver an astounding 200A current and join quarter-inch mild steel pieces in a single sweep of the welding torch.

This fact alone makes contender for the best MIG welder. In terms of stick welding performance, there’s no doubt about it.

The wide variable configurations of voltage and amperage allow you to work at a comfortable pace while also welding thick pieces outdoors where wind will not post a problem.

When you need to weld rusty or painted surfaces, swap to the stick welding function and get to work!

This machine has 60% duty cycle at max output, making it a viable option for professional welders or heavy-duty at-home welding projects.

The SUNGOLDPOWER can also weld aluminum sheets, provided you pick up a spool gun (sold separately) and aluminum wire.

Pros

  • MIG, flux-cored gasless, and stick welder
  • High output power on 220V
  • Easy to use stick function
  • Stable arc every time

Cons

  • Could be easier to transport

The SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 200 offers tremendous value for its relatively inexpensive price tag. Pros and beginners alike will absolutely love this machine!

Our expert-reviewed articles are fact-based, unbiased, and rigorously researched to help you make the right buying decisions.

 
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Stick welders come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. If you have a set budget of under or around $500, we’ve got the perfect list for you.

To uncover the best cheap stick welder under $500, we researched over 40 different models, including widely popular to virtually unknown models.

We’re sure you’ll find the best inexpensive stick welder for you and your projects by reading our reviews below.

Top Best Cheap Stick Welders Under $500 Compared

Here’s a comparison between Top Best Cheap Stick Welders Under $500:

Product Image
Product Name
Features
Price
SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG MAG ARC MMA Stick DC Welder 110/220V Dual Voltage IGBT Inverter 200A Aluminum Welding Soldering Machine Gas Shielded/Gasless Flux Cored Wire Solid Core Wire Welding EquipmentBest Cheap Stick Welder Under $500 – SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 200
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200A
  • USP: MIG + Flux Cored


LINCOLN ELECTRIC K1170 AC225, 60Hz Arc WelderBest Premium - Lincoln ARC-225
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 3/16 in.
  • Input Power: 230V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 225A
  • USP: Single-Knob Controls


Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160iBest Budget - Hobart Stickmate 160i
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 5/32 in.
  • Input Power: 120V/240V
  • Duty Cycle: 30% @ 160A
  • USP: Hot Start Technology


LOTOS LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Tig Welder and Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine,½ Inch Clean Cut,BrownLotos LTPDC2000D
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 3/8 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200A
  • USP: Non-Touch Plasma Cutter


PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter, 200 Amp TIG Welder and 200 Amp Stick Welder - Welding and Cutting Combo, Mobile Welding Machine, Portable Plasma Cutter, Multipurpose Welder and Cutter, CT-520DPrimeweld CT-520D
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 3/8 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 60% @ 200A
  • USP: HF Plasma Cutter


Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115VHobart Handler 140
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 115V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 90A
  • USP: MIG + Flux Cored


Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process WelderForney Weld 140 MP
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 110V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 110A
  • USP: MIG + Flux Cored


New 2022 PowerMTS 141Si MIG/TIG/Stick 140 Amp IGBT Welder 110v Input VoltageEverlast PowerARC 200ST
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/4 in.
  • Input Power: 110V/220V
  • Duty Cycle: 35% @ 200A
  • USP: Hot Start Technology


Forney 235 AC/DC Stick Welder, Arc Welder,230-Volt, 230/ 180 Amp , Green - 314Forney 235
  • Welding Thickness Capacity: 1/2 in.
  • Input Power: 230V
  • Duty Cycle: 20% @ 230A
  • USP: DC/AC


Reviews of the Top Best Cheap Stick Welders Under $500

While searching for the best cheap stick welder under $500, we came across other noteworthy models that fall in this price range. Below, you’ll see other stick welders that deserve recognition.

Best Premium - Lincoln ARC-225

best overall rating LINCOLN ELECTRIC K1170 AC225, 60Hz Arc Welder

Key Specifications

  • 3/16-inch Welding Capacity
  • 230V Input Power
  • 20% Duty Cycle @ 225A
  • Single-Knob Controls

The Lincoln ARC-225 is one of the most premium stick-only welding machines you can find today.

It has a max power output rating of 225A, which allows it to weld 3/16-inch mild steel sheets with ease using 1/8-inch consumable rods.

It plugs directly into a 230V receptacle with a 50A breaker, so you know it’s a hard-hitting stick-welding beast.

Though it’s possible to run this machine from a 30A circuit breaker, you won’t be able to get anywhere close to its max welding depth in a single sweep.

So, if you’re looking to get the most value out of this machine, make sure your home is prepared to handle the large load.

Best of all, this unit only has a single knob that controls both current and voltage. It’s an incredibly user-friendly, straightforward machine with fewer frills but amazing performance.

Pros

  • Great for small to medium jobs
  • Simple single-dial controls
  • Robust design
  • Deep penetration

Cons

  • Not portable generator friendly

The ARC-225 is a great stick welding machine with a wide range of capabilities, despite its single-knob controls. The ARC-225 uses more energy to operate, so that’s our heads-up for you.

Best Budget - Hobart Stickmate 160i

best overall rating Hobart 500570 Stickmate 160i

Key Specifications

  • 5/32-inch Welding Capacity
  • 120V/240V Input Power
  • 30% Duty Cycle @ 160A
  • Hot Start Technology

Another stick-only welding machine that’s on the lower end of the price spectrum is the Hobart Stickmate 160i.

This stick welder doesn’t come with MIG or TIG compatibility, and it has a lower max power output than most stick-only welders.

It’s a durable, dependable stick welding beast that can join 5/32-inch sheets of mild steel in a single pass using a 1/8-inch rod consumable.

It’s compatible with either 120V or 240V power, so users are free to take it to pro welding shops or simply use it at home.

Built with heat start technology, the rod consumables are less likely to stick to your work surface and produce considerably less slag in the process. That’s a tremendous win by stick welding standards.

See the Stickmate 160i in all its glory in this brief promotional video:

 

Pros

  • Decent penetration
  • Dual-voltage machine
  • Less slag, less cleanup
  • Lightweight, durable, reliable

Cons

  • Duty cycle could be improved

A fantastic stick-only welding machine to say the least, the Stickmate 160i certainly meets all of the requirements to be named one of the best on the market.

Lotos LTPDC2000D

best overall rating LOTOS LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Tig Welder and Stick Welder 3 in 1 Combo Welding Machine,½ Inch Clean Cut,Brown

Key Specifications

  • 3/8-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Power
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • Non-Touch Plasma Cutter

The Lotos LTPDC200D is an incredibly unique welding machine.

It doubles as a TIG welder that works amazingly well at joining thinner workpieces together in a single sweep of the TIG gun, and its stick-welding abilities are as dependable as can be.

But what sets the LTPDC200D apart from other inexpensive stick welders is its ability to cut metal with a plasma torch.

This machine can sever up to half an inch of mild steel with every pass, and you can also use it to cut through corroded or painted materials thanks to its non-touch torch.

On its max settings, the LTPDC200D can weld up to 3/8-inch mild steel using 1/8-inch rods. This is also a pretty lightweight machine that’s easy to move and transport.

Pros

  • Excellent welding capabilities
  • Portable, lightweight design
  • Excellent duty cycle on 220V power
  • Plasma cutting abilities

Cons

  • Could come with a 110V pigtail

Flexibility and dependability are two things that are guaranteed with this Lotos-made multi-functional tool.

Primeweld CT-520D

best overall rating PrimeWeld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter, 200 Amp TIG Welder and 200 Amp Stick Welder - Welding and Cutting Combo, Mobile Welding Machine, Portable Plasma Cutter, Multipurpose Welder and Cutter, CT-520D

Key Specifications

  • 3/8-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Power
  • 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • HF Plasma Cutter

Similar to the previous model, the Primeweld CT-520D functions as a welding and plasma cutting machine. It’s 50A max output lets it sever-cut through half-inch mild steel in a single pass.

Its welding functions operate between 10 and 200A, allowing you to weld up to 3/8-inch steel plates together using the TIG gun or stick rods.

Its stick welding capabilities are pretty decent, though even after following the cheat sheet, we couldn’t figure out how to reduce slag to tolerable levels.

Don’t get us wrong; it definitely did the job, but there was a bit too much cleanup needed for comfort.

Pros

  • High-amp welding power
  • Excellent 60% duty cycle
  • Dual-voltage
  • Doubles as an HF plasma cutter

Cons

  • Stick welding could product less slag

Although it’s not the perfect stick welder, it excels at TIG and plasma cutting functions. The CT-520D is definitely worth knowing about if you want to do more with a single machine.

Hobart Handler 140

best overall rating Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V

Key Specifications

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 115V Input Voltage
  • 20% Duty Cycle @ 90A
  • MIG + Flux Cored Capabilities

The Handler 140 by Hobart is one of the most astounding single-voltage machines to enter our shop. Although it runs on 115V power, it can stick-weld quarter-inch mild steel plates with hardly any effort.

Plus, it functions as a MIG welder, allowing you to work with thick materials both inside and outside of your shop.

This is an incredibly popular MIG welder among novice users. It plugs into any standard home outlet, and its 20% duty cycle, though not reliable in pro shops, is more than enough for light-duty, home-improve projects.

This is what the Handler 140 looks like in action:

 

Pros

  • Fantastic MIG and stick capabilities
  • Can use gasless flux-cored wire
  • Durable and portable
  • Simple control interface

Cons

  • Duty cycle could be better

The simplistic, straightforward Handler 140 combines awesome penetrating power with easy-to-use controls.

Forney Weld 140 MP

best overall rating Forney Easy Weld 140 MP, Multi-Process Welder

Key Specifications

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V Input Power
  • 30% Duty Cycle @ 90A
  • Multi-Process Unit

Forney Easy Weld 140 MP is an incredibly impressive stick, MIG, and TIG welder for its cost. Out of the box, the 140 MP is ready to stick and MIG weld up to quarter-inch steel.

If you plan on using the low-amp TIG welding function, you’ll need to purchase the necessary hardware separately.

It can operate at 140A output, but at mid-range power, it has a 30% duty cycle which isn’t all that impressive, at least for large-scale projects.

However, considering its single-voltage compatibility, it really pushes the limits of what a 110V machine can actually do.

This short video highlights the 140 MP’s welding abilities:

 

Pros

  • 3-in-1 stick, MIG, and TIG
  • Flexible variable configurations
  • User-friendly
  • Compatible with flux-cored wire

Cons

  • Could be less messy (slag and spatter)

The Forney 140 MP is a highly versatile machine that can weld both indoors and out, making it a great option for weekend welders everywhere.

Everlast PowerARC 200ST

best overall rating New 2022 PowerMTS 141Si MIG/TIG/Stick 140 Amp IGBT Welder 110v Input Voltage

Key Specifications

  • ¼-inch Welding Capacity
  • 110V/220V Input Power
  • 35% Duty Cycle @ 200A
  • Hot Start Technology

Looking at the performance ratings of the Everlast PowerARC 200ST, you might come to the conclusion that there’s nothing too fancy about it.

After all, it’s a TIG and stick welder that can join quarter-inch sheets of mild steel while running off of 220V power. However, there’s more to the PowerARC 200ST than meets the eye.

The control board is super-simple, and you can adjust arc force to your exact specifications for both short and long welding drags.

With hot start technology, there’s very little risk of the rod consumable sticking to your workpiece, and there’s hardly any cleanup needed after the weld is complete.

Pros

  • User-friendly control interface
  • Digital display
  • High 200A output
  • Easy to transport and move around

Cons

  • Duty cycle could be better

All in all, the Everlast PowerARC 200ST is a super-user-friendly stick/TIG welder that comes with all of the features to match its price tag.

Forney 235

best overall rating Forney 235 AC/DC Stick Welder, Arc Welder,230-Volt, 230/ 180 Amp , Green - 314

Key Specifications

  • ½-inch Welding Capacity
  • 230V Input Power
  • 20% Duty Cycle @ 230A
  • DC/AC Welding

Last up is the Forney 235, which is a highly-regarded model amongst professional metal workers across the country.

It has an ultra-high 235A output that to join half-inch sheets together in a single sweep, though its duty cycle does suffer from higher output ratings.

The highlight of the 235 is its compatibility with both AC and DC stick welding.

Although DC is the preferred polarity for most projects, you have the option to reverse the polarity settings to simpler jobs, such as patching up shovels and lawn mowers.

As a stick-only welder, you can’t enjoy MIG or TIG welding with the 235, and for its price, but its flawless stick-welding performance certainly makes up for this inconvenience.

Forney also throws in a cheap, flimsy mask with your purchase.

Pros

  • Half-inch penetration
  • Incredibly portable
  • Robust, dependable design
  • Super-simple control interface

Cons

  • Included mask could be more durable

From light to heavy-duty welding projects at home or at the workplace, the Forney 235 offers dependable stick-welding performance without a ton of pre-configuring.

FAQs

In this section, we’ll focus on answering the most frequently asked questions about stick welders under or $500.

Are $500 stick welders worth it?

Yes, they certainly can be, especially if you know exactly what you need it for. Stick welders outshine MIG and TIG in simplicity and outdoor welding capabilities. You don’t need to drag around a tank of argon with you while using a stick welder, thereby reducing the cost of operating the machine and fixing metal objects at home.

Should I get a TIG/stick, MIG/stick or stick-only welder?

That’s up to you to decide. Our list includes several stick-only welders, but we also included reviews of combo tools—some of them also being able to cut metal as opposed to just joining metal sheets. If you’re just starting off, we’d recommend getting a stick and MIG welder combo tool as both of these techniques are simple and are capable of patching up more things at home or around the farm.

Which brand makes the best stick welder?

Our list is not dominated by one single brand. This wasn’t done intentionally—after testing numerous models, we included what we felt our readers would get the most value from. That said, the most well-known welder manufacturers include Miller, Lincoln, Everlast, Forney, and Hobart, but many lesser-known brands are becoming increasingly more popular.

What are stick welders users for?

Basically, they can fix up any metal objects made of mild steel, including auto parts, farm equipment, HVAC hardware, garden tools, and so on. All of the stick welders listed above can be used for a variety of metalworking projects, whether it’s home repairs or professional auto parts fabrication. With that in mind, make sure you know the machine’s welding thickness ratings to see whether it fits your needs.

Summary

After extensive researching and testing of over 40 stick welders, the best cheap stick welder under $500 is, hands down, the SUNGOLDPOWER MIG 200.

However, if you’re not willing to give newer brands a try, our list contains brands from other manufacturers with proven track records.

If there’s anything on this guide you disagree with, or if you have any unanswered questions, we’d love to hear your feedback. You have the floor (or comments section).

Last update on 2022-12-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Linda Johnson

Linda has been working with power tools since she was 13 years old. As DIYer she works on wood and metal to develop artworks that she puts on sale. She loves traveling.

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