Best MIG Welder Under $500: Lincoln K2185-1
Not every inexpensive welder needs to come from obscure manufacturers. For instance, the Lincoln K2185-1, our overall best MIG welder under $500 from a pool of over 25 models.
It’s a widely used model among beginners for its decent welding capacity and user-friendliness.
Here’s what the K2185-1’s key specifications look like—
- 1/8-inch Welding Capacity
- 115V Input Voltage
- 20% Duty Cycle @ 70A
- Thermal Protection
The K2185-1 uses MIG and flux-cored wire. It’s mainly designed for basic repair jobs around the home, welding light-gauge mild steel of up to 1/8 of an inch.
It doesn’t offer a ton of flexibility in terms of feed speed and voltage settings, but it gets basic jobs done in a breeze.
This Lincoln MIG welder has a max output of 88A and a duty cycle of 20% at 70A. It’s clearly far from being the most powerful or efficient model on the market, but for its price tag, these are fairly reasonable figures.
- Safe and easy to use
- Great for basic DIY home and car repairs
- 115V input for use at home
- Indoor chart helps with voltage and feed settings
- Could have more voltage position settings
For this price category, the Lincoln K2185-1 is pretty hard to top. Sure, it could be stronger and more flexible, but that’s just what you’ll get from an entry-level MIG welder.
Our expert reviewed articles are fact based, unbiased, and rigorously researched to help you make right buying decisions.
If you’re thinking of taking up welding to upgrade your DIY game but are worried about having to spend more than a month’s wage on a machine, we have the product for you.
MIG welders come in both expensive and not-so-expensive models, as you’ll see in this guide.
We’ve researched over two-dozen models to find the best MIG welder under $500 available today. We’re sure you’ll love what you see here.
Top MIG Welders Under $500 Compared
Here’s a comparison between Top MIG Welders Under $500:
|Product Image||Product Name||Features||Price
|Best MIG Welder Under $500 – Lincoln K2185-1||Check Today's Price
|Best Premium - Lotos MIG175||Check Today's Price
|Best Budget - HITBOX MIG 200||Check Today's Price
|SUNGOLDPOWER 200||Check Today's Price
|Lotos MIG140||Check Today's Price
|Forney Easy Weld M140 MP||Check Today's Price
|Everlast MIG140||Check Today's Price
Reviews of the Top MIG Welders Under $500
From our tests, we uncovered several more noteworthy MIG welders priced under $500. Take a look at their reviews down below.
Best Premium - Lotos MIG175
- ¼-inch Welding Capacity
- 220V/240V Input Voltage
- 20% Duty Cycle @ 175A
- Works on Aluminum
If you want to step up to the next level, take a look at the Lotos MIG175. This wallet-friendly MIG welder can weld up to a quarter-inch of mild steel in a single pass.
If you swap out gas and wire spools, you can also use the MIG 175 to weld aluminum up to 3/8 of an inch thickness. It even comes with its own aluminum spool gun, so you can begin welding aluminum right away.
The fact that the MIG 175 plugs into a 220V/240V receptacle is enough of a give-away of what this welder can do. Check that you have a dedicated 220V outlet in your garage beforehand.
Take a look at Lotos’ awesome demonstration video of the MIG175:
- Great performance
- Compact, versatile MIG welder
- Efficient cooldown times
- Great for light and medium DIY welding jobs
- Only works with 220V/240V receptacle
The Lotos MIG 175 costs a bit more than the other models on this list, but it’s money well-spent. You get higher power output, better welding efficiency, and the ability to weld aluminum.
Best Budget - HITBOX MIG 200
- 5/16-inch Welding Capacity
- 220V Input Voltage
- 30% Duty Cycle @ 200A
Our budget pick from the $500-or-less lineup is the HITBOX MIG 200. It’s another straightforward MIG welder, but has a secret weapon in store: TIG and stick welding capabilities.
By pressing a simple button, you can use this versatile machine to weld outdoors (stick) or produce intricate welds (TIG).
It also offers a ton of flexibility by allowing you to set the amp and voltage ratings independently. The HITBOX has a max welding capacity of 5/16 inches, so you’ll find plenty of use for this machine.
Wire feed speed is nonadjustable in the HITBOX. By selecting the amp and volt ratings, the machine will automatically feed you the right amount of wire at the right pace.
- Extremely easy to use
- Decent output power and welding capabilities
- Uses both MIG and flux-cored
- Very little spatter
- Could come with wire feed adjustment system
The HITBOX doesn’t leave a lot of room for improvement, considering its super-cheap price tag. Novice or experienced, this is a great budget MIG welder.
- 3/8-inch Welding Capacity
- 110V/220V Input Voltage
- 60% Duty Cycle @ 200A
In many ways, the SUNGOLDPOWER 200 is similar to the HITBOX. They both have a max output of 200A and can stick and TIG weld.
The first major difference between the two is that the SUNGOLD works with both 110V and 220V receptacles to make it at home and at commercial workshops.
Make sure to keep an eye on the amps and voltage ratings since they can bounce around on their own.
This unit is also efficient oriented by maintaining a cool 60% duty cycle at peak power performance. All of the cables and cords are pretty long, so you can move around while the SUNGOLDPOWER stays in place.
- Excellent penetration with little spatter
- Works on aluminum
- Can also stick and TIG weld
- Long, durable cables
- Settings may bounce while in use
Overall, the SUNGOLDPOWER 200 is a great, economical MIG welder for both homeowners and pro welders.
- 3/16-inch Welding Capacity
- 110V/120V Input Voltage
- 20% Duty Cycle @ 90A
As you might expect from a Lotos-made machine, the MIG140 surpasses what we typically think of cheap, 110V MIG welders.
This machine can weld up to 3/16-inch mild steel in a single pass, and its 10-setting voltage dial lets you adjust how quickly or slowly to weld.
The 2T/4T switch also makes this a convenient tool for both beginners and pros. With a spool gun (sold separately), you can shift your focus from mild steel to aluminum for specialized welding jobs.
Its duty cycle may seem insignificant, especially when compared to the SUNGOLDPOWER, but it’ll give you plenty of time to assess the bead as you work.
Lotos’ video will show you how to get this machine started:
- Simple to set up and work
- Portable design
- Great entry-level MIG welder capabilities
- Flexible adjustable settings
- Auto-fed wire can get stuck
Not only is the Lotos 140 MIG one of the best 110V MIG welders available, but it outperforms many of the costlier welders within similar power ranges.
Forney Easy Weld M140 MP
- ¼-inch Welding Capacity
- 110V Input Voltage
- 30% Duty Cycle @ 90A
- Multi-Process Unit
Like the HITBOX and SUNGOLDPOWER mentioned above, the Forney Easy Weld M140 MP is a highly versatile welder that does both TIG and stick welding.
Best of all, it draws power from standard 110V outlets, giving homeowners the flexibility to perform all three welding types (TIG hardware not included).
The 140 MP can weld up to quarter-inch mild steel in a single pass of the welding gun while maintaining a decent 30% at 90A output.
It comes in a durable steel case and offers voltage and feed-speed dials to let you work at the pace you’re most comfortable with.
This video by Forney Industries will show you what the 140 MP can do:
- 3-in-1 110V welder
- Easy-to-control settings
- Great for first-timers
- Uses flux-cored wires
- Welds could be cleaner
Admittedly limited in power, there’s no denying that the multi-functionality of the 140 MP makes it shine as a budget-friendly welder.
- 3/8-inch Welding Capacity
- 110V/120V Input Voltage
- 25% Duty Cycle @ 140A
- Stepless Controls
The final product we’d like to discuss is the Everlast MIG140. Its performance ratings speak a lot about what this tool can do. At max power, the MIG140 can weld 3/8-inch mild steel, producing perfect penetration with little spatter.
The two dials on the control board manage voltage and wire feed ratings. There aren’t any steps between the numbers, so there’s technically infinite flexibility between 1 and 10.
This fine-tune-ability means welding at the right speed with the right amount of filler.
The first part of a 3-video tutorial on the MIG140 shows in great detail how this unit is built:
- IGBT inverter design
- Optional aluminum welding (spool gun sold separately)
- Infinite voltage and wire feed ratings
- Great for beginners and light welding tasks
- Could come with a welding parameter guide
There’s plenty of things to love about the Everlast MIG140, and at this price range, you can’t afford to miss out.
Here, we’ll try and address some of the most FAQs about MIG welders under $500.
The issue with price, at least in the case of MIG welders, isn’t shoddy manufacturing but rather what it can do. As you can see from our list, these products have limited welding capabilities of between 3/16 and 3/8 of an inch. If you need a machine for infrequent welding, an inexpensive MIG welder, such as any on this list, is the perfect route.
Your very first consideration should be the machine’s rated welding capabilities. The greater the margin between the machine’s max thickness rating and the average thickness of your workpieces, the better off you’ll be as you gain experience in welding. After that, your next consideration should be input voltage. Most of the MIG welders here are rated 110V/120V, but 220V and up will offer better flexibility and enhanced welding efficiency.
The multi-functional MIG welders on our list include the HITBOX, SUNGOLDPOWER, and Forney. Having all three functions in one machine not only saves space in your workshop garage, but also allows you to weld materials of different sizes and in different settings. Plus, with an inexpensive price tag and money-back guarantees, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to give these machines a try.
A basic way of determining the appropriate size of your MIG welder is by measuring the thickness of your base metals and multiplying every 0.001 inches by 1 amp. However, this is a simple estimate and should not be your sole method of selecting the most suitable MIG welder. A more conclusive method is by checking the machine’s welding capabilities (mentioned for each product listed above).
The best MIG welder under $500 was surprisingly not difficult to find, despite there being a vast pool of cheap models available today.
We personally tested each and every model that made it into our shop priced around $500 to produce this guide. If you think we forgot to include a noteworthy model, please let us know by leaving your thoughts in the comment section.
Last update on 2023-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API