As a newbie welder starting, everything can be overwhelming. Picking the right welder for you is perhaps the most significant challenge you will face. But, we are dedicated to helping make this experience as easy and as informative as possible for you.
We will start you with a comparison table of the best welder for beginners to help you narrow your search then have an in-depth look at each of the options individually.
Since you're starting, there's no need to bog yourself down with advanced welders whose features you will greatly underuse. You can do just as well with a beginner welding machine. It's not only handy but clears the clutter of buttons and features to allow you to focus on what is most important.
Beginner welders are not too shabby either. They have just the right amount of technical and safety features to let you go about your business with ease and excellence. So, don’t let the term ‘beginner’ distract you.
If you’re looking for something that will grow with you, the reviews feature some great options we believe you will find useful as well.
Best Mig Welder For Beginners
1. GOPLUS MIG 130 WELDER
The Goplus MIG 130 Welder comes in a single unit that is easy to manage and use. In addition to the welder, you get a welding mask, a brush, and a welding wire, so you have everything you need to get started. The welder easily handles all thin metals and is versatile. It can manage household and small commercial applications, making it a great tool to start your welding career or passion with.
The welding machine is housed in a stainless steel case for sturdiness and durability with a plastic and ergonomic handle for easier transportation. For enhanced longevity, the stainless steel body is paired with durable yellow paint to prevent corrosion.
The welder also has some remarkable features. These include adjustable welding speeds with different levels of current flow settings and flux core wires. The machine uses metal-inert gas for welding, which helps to prevent oxidation of freshly welded parts.
If you’re worried you might get a little engaged and weld for hours at a time, the welder has air vents on the sides to assist with heat dissipation. The welding gun is also fitted with a safety control mechanism to keep you safe as you work.
The portable design and diverse applications of the Goplus MIG130 are the main reason why this is a keeper among welders who are just starting. The fact that is packs some additional yet vital safety equipment and features is also enticing.
2. HOBART 500559 HANDLER
Hobart is quite reputable within the welding circles among both professional and amateur welders. The brand offers great quality welders at an entry-level with impressive features, and for a great price. If you’re looking for a great quality welder packed with features and can take on more than household chores, the Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is just the right fit for various reasons.
The Hobart 500559 is suitable for up to 24 gauge of welding up to ¼ inch mild steel. It uses MIG welding and can work on a variety of materials, which include brass, titanium, copper, cast iron, among others.
Since you're starting, your welding machine should function just right in the comfort of your home. The Hobart 500559 works off a 115-Volt current, what is available in your home.
The fact that the welder comes in one compact unit not only saves you space but also makes it easy to set up the system.
Features that you can enjoy include the 5-position voltage control selector to ensure a smooth and stable arc when working with all welding thicknesses.
3. Lincoln Electric K2185-1
The Lincoln Electric K2185-1 ticks on all the right boxes for beginner welders. It has a low price tag, an easy to use interface and it’s portable so you can take it with you to wherever your welding takes you.
Despite its easy to use approach, the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 welder’s features a flux-cored welding, MIG approach capable of handling repairs at home and can also take up light workshop projects. You can weld up to 24gauge mild steel that is up to 1/8 inches thick.
The welder runs on a 115-volt plug so that any household outlet will do great. It has a 20% running cycle at 70mps.
Even for beginner welders, the welding needs can differ. That’s why it’s critical to find a welder with the right settings and enough adjustability. For the K2185-1, you get four voltage settings and continuous wire feed speed control for precise welding.
It also helps that the welder is lightweight and easy to move around. It weighs in at about 46 pounds so you can pick it and move around without much of a hassle.
Other than performance, you also want the welder to be as safe as possible to use. This particular one features a fan-cooled design for longer welding hours without overheating and durability.
The machine also features a cold contractor which keeps the wire electrically cold until you set off the trigger.
How would you like a guarantee for your money? The Lincoln K2185-1 comes with a 1-year warranty for parts and labour, which quite commendable. If anything breaks down within the year, the manufacturer will address it for you!
4. Forney Easy Weld 29901
Forney might not be the most popular MIG welder brand on the market, but they sure score some serious points with this option. Not only do you get a MIG welder, you get two of them!
The welder is perfect for beginners looking to complete DIY projects or lightweight work. It’s a great start-up welder with all the features and add-ons you will need to get your welding up and running.
One of the downsides of using a welder is the weight. The Forney 29901 is the lightest one we have reviewed yet weighing only 33 pounds. It's also extremely compact, which is perfect when you don't know where your welding passion will take you next.
Other than the weight and its compact design, the welder also has a variety of performance features that are ideal in getting your welding off on the right footing.
The welder is ideal for 30 amps and a duty cycle of 20 per cent to provide maximum performance for your welding, what's more, the welder pairs these impressive features with an easy to use installation guide that will have you using the machine in a matter of minutes.
The most notable feature is the dynamic flux core welding. It provides the best level of performance you can get from a beginner welder on various types of metals and metal alloys.
5. Miller 211 Electric MIG Welder
The greatest strength the Miller Electric MIG welder is the simplicity of its dials and consequently control. This one of a kind welder is extra strong for its size and can easily weld metals of up 3.8” of aluminum and steel.
The expertly manufactured dual voltage welder is capable of MIG and Flux-cored processes and comes with plenty of features that ensure the best possible performance and an easy time setting it up.
Some of the most stand out features include the wire drive system that is made from cast aluminium and is raised at an angle for an easier pull and feed. You also get to enjoy the 'Auto Spool Gun Detect' feature that detects where you're using a MIG or a spool gun, so you don't need to switch. This takes most of the guesswork out of welding for first-timers.
For simple home-based applications, the welder can use the typical 120V outlet. For heavier functions, you can plug it into an industrial 240V outlet. All of these are built-in, so you don't have to worry about re-wiring.
If you have to keep mobile, the Miller 211 has an excellent build. It uses an inverter technology that keeps the pounds down, which is why the welder only weighs a measly 38 pounds. In addition to its lightweight build, the welder also has a handle on top of the machine, which makes it easier for you to carry.
Best Tig Welder For Beginners
6. AHP AlphaTIG 200X
It’s only practical that we look at some TIG alternatives for newbies looking to weld metals like copper or titanium or even welder dissimilar metals. The AHP Alpha TIG 200X is perhaps one of the easiest to use and most affordable that would work best with beginners.
The welder comes with a torch that is good for up to 7018 jobs. The long and flexible hose allows you to set your machine and complete your welding without standing close to the welder.
The diversity of the welder is also commendable. You can use it on different metals, include steel and aluminium. The addition of the Pulse Width Modification (PWM) is another great feature that allows you to adjust the welder's pulse as you work.
The smooth operation guarantees peace of mind as you fire off with the sturdy and robust welds. The added foot pedal ensures you can make adjustments with your hands as you work for precise control.
While the AHP Alpha TIG 200X is perfect for DIY projects, it can also work for some professionals. It's a great tool when you're looking to scale continuously, and you don't want to buy another TIG welder too soon.
The strong steel case and durable design will ensure the welder is with you for a good number of years, and the thick plastic cover shields the buttons and controls from weather elements and the harsh outdoors. It is also a much-needed layer of safety that ensures that you only press the buttons you intend to press.
Despite the broad range of features, the Alpha 200X is ready to use in a matter of seconds. You just need to flip the switch, and you're ready to go.
7. EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH
The 2017 EVERLAST PowerARC 160STH is a well-rounded welder with enough features to serve most welders looking for a TIG and Arc welder. It is easy to set up even for those that are welding for the first time, and you're assured of decent results.
For more seasoned welders, you will appreciate how easy and comfortable the welder is to use. Even better, the welder is perfect when working with detail-oriented projects. The welder works with different metals, including stainless steel, and cast iron, among others.
The small, compact, and lightweight design packs plenty of features that you will find handy in your welding journey. At the top of the features list is a dual voltage, which allows you to plug the welder into a typical household power outlet or an industrial alternative depending on what the application at hand demands.
The welder can use a 120V for home applications and a 220V out for commercial and heavy production work.
This best welding machine for beginners is fitted with TIG and Stick capabilities, which allow you to widen the scope of your work. TIG is particularly handy when you're dealing with ornamental work. On the other hand, the Stick process helps you to weld aluminium, steel or cast iron and is much easier and more forgiving for beginners to handle.
The welder has two start options which are; lift and high frequency. High frequency is easier and offers a cleaner start. It doesn't create contamination because it is non-contact. A lift start is preferred for welders that prefer not to use the pedal and works perfectly when you’re welding in awkward positions.
To guarantee that smooth arc, the welder has a unique IGBT inverter design that enhances the performance of the unit. It also has an auto-adaptive hot start as well as an auto-regulated arc force control.
8. Amico 200 Amp TIG Torch
The Amico 200 TIG welder is an excellent option for beginners because of its compact size, quality, and affordable price tag. It makes the challenge of tungsten arc welding a walk in the pack and comes with some extra equipment you will need like electrode holders for welding.
A quick look at the original features of the welder like the 13-foot cable and a 10-foot 300amp cable and a transfer plug indicates how easy and flexible using this welder is going to be. In addition, this TIG welder comes complete with one of the best tig torches.
If you decide to take welding seriously, you don’t have to worry about upgrading immediately. The welder has standard connections for both residential and industrial applications. Going forward, this feature allows you to save money in upgrades while getting the best performance out of your welder.
The Amico 200 is versatile. Not only can it weld different types of metals like titanium and copper but also thicknesses of up to ½ inch thick.
The welder also comes with an analogue dial for easier use to modulate between the amperage for increased power and precision. With a duty cycle of a staggering 60%, the welder makes easy work of all welding applications saving you time while ensuring excellent results.
A nifty feature added on to the welder is the button placed on its handle to replace the foot pedal. This makes it easier to maintain control of the welder even when welding in tight spaces.
All these features, coupled with the stringent quality processes the Amico is known for before releasing their welders is music to every beginner that is looking for a good quality TIG welder on a steal.
9. Hobart EZ-TIG 165i TIG Welder
The Hobart EZ-TIG is one of the best welder for beginners. It has an easy to use interface, and the welder itself is just as easy to use.
Initial set up will only take a handful of minutes, and you're set to go. The welder can handle welds of up to 3/16" and has both AC and DC functionalities.
The welder offers plenty of features. The most impressive has to be the fan-on-demand feature. Using this feature, you can run the fan only when it's necessary, which helps to reduce the dirt that might get sucked into the unit.
After honing your welding skills, if you would like to have finer control of the weld, the Hobart EZ-TIG has an Infinite Amperage Control feature that increases range and ensures you get the results you are looking for.
The HF Start feature is also vital for that non-contact arc start to prevent tungsten and other material contamination when you’re starting your weld.
Simply put, the Hobart packs some of the professional welder features into a neat, simple and easy to use welder that beginners will enjoy. What’s more, the welder is not as limiting as most TIG welders and can grow with you as you improve your skills.
If you happen to move a lot, the inverter technology used on this welder sheds a significant amount of weight off the welder, and the two carrying handles ensure that moving it from one area to another is a breeze.
Best Stick/Arc Welder For Beginners
10. Campbell Arc Stick Welder
When welding conditions are less than ideal, stick welding is the best solution. This method of welding is inexpensive, works great under windy and rainy conditions and doesn’t require pre-welding clean up because it holds up well against dirt and old paint.
If you’re looking for a stick welder, it doesn’t get better than the Campbell Hausfeld 115 Stick welder. This durable and compact welder has all the features you need to complete your welding in the shortest time, and its price will not leave you reeling in financial turmoil.
The Campbell Hausfeld can weld mild and stainless steel of up to 1/8 inches in thickness. It runs on 115 volts of power with a 20% duty cycle at 50A.
For unrivalled performance, the welder has a dual heat setting that is ideal for hobby welding and small repairs. The machine is also fitted with thermal overload protection, easy starting and smooth arc among other features.
To allow flexibility, this Stick welder has a 6-foot cable length to allow welding in tight spots and awkward positions.
11. Blue Demon BLUEARC-90STI
It’s not every day you come across a Stick welder with a shoulder strap or any welder in that case. Which makes this a great starting point for the last welder in our line of reviews.
A shoulder strap might not be a performance changer, but it does make for a suitable alternative of moving your new welder around. In addition to the shoulder strap, the Blue Arc 90STI Stick Welder also has a plastic handle you can use.
This best beginners welder can handle a variety of metals including stainless steel, carbon steel and cast iron as well as hard surfacing.
With a 115-volt rating, you don’t have to look any further than your average household output to power the welder. This is largely accredited to the unique design of the inverter and its technology.
Because the welder is inverter-based, it gives you maximum power output without requiring a bulky transformer. It also packs a 20% duty cycle at 90A which is quite impressive.
If you're looking for an affordable, feature-filled and high-quality stick welder, the Blue Demon Blue Arc fits the bill.
It’s particularly ideal for beginning welders because of its easy to use interface and how easy it is to set up.
12. Lincoln Electric K1170
The Lincoln Electric welder is both versatile and user-friendly. The welder provides a great balance of performance and price and is a perfect choice for welders that are looking to use the welder around the house, on a farm or an average garage for DIY projects, general maintenance and repair.
Even though this is a welder designed for welders that are just starting, it has plenty of range. It has a welding amperage range of 40 to 225 amps AC. This allows you to use it on different metals with different melting points. It can work on low alloys, steel, carbon steel, cast iron and stainless steel, among others. You can use the welder on thin sheets of metal on the lower end and metals that are 16 gauge and higher.
Setting up and running the welder is a breeze. The welder comes with an input cable in place that you can plug into a standard power outlet. Once plugged in, a few checks and balances here and there the welder is ready to run.
If you’re looking for a great stick welder that offers excellent value for money, this Lincoln Electric is the perfect fit. It has a simple and smooth operation with smooth AC arc to guarantee strong welds at all times.
The fact that it comes with warranty for its price tag is also quite impressive. It’s a sign of how much trust the manufacturer has in the product.
13. Amico Arc – 160D
If your budget is really tight and you’re looking for a welder that will not tie you down in frustration, the Amico Arc 160D is a great option. This is a light and portable stick welder suited for home projects but offers a variety of functions that guarantee smooth operations and the best performance.
At just under 16 pounds, the Amico Arc scores big points on being one of the easiest stick welder for beginners to use. The interface is neatly laid out with clearly labelled dials that allow you to choose what works best for you.
The amperage range varies from 20 – 160, which is more than enough to work with most metals that are not too hard or too thick.
In addition to the performance features, the Arc 160D also features a variety of safety features that guarantee protection as you work with the welder. These include overvoltage protection, and under-voltage protection, over current protection and overload protection.
These features are particularly handy in areas where the power output is inconsistent. With DC operation, the Arc also guarantees the best arc stability to go along with a quick start for a smooth weld and reduced spatter and clean up.
14. Century Inverter Arc 120
The Century Inverter Arc is another lightweight and affordable stick welder that is built with beginner welders in mind. While the welder is small and compact, it promises a larger than life performance and has a plethora of features to help achieve this.
The Century arc welder can weld sheet metal ranging from 18 gauge to 1/4" steel. To ensure you get the right weld, the welder has variable amperage that ranges from 10 -90 amps. The range might not seem significant, but it's just the right amount for starters and can still work on a variety of stick welder applications.
For power, the welder plugs into a 120V power output. You also get to enjoy a 20% duty cycle at 70 amps.
Just to make sure you have everything you need to get your welding started as soon as the welder arrives, this one also packs some extra goodies which include a shoulder strap, a work cable, an electrode hold, a work clamp and an input cable.
With the exact temperature settings and the easy setup, you can have consistent and strong welds going in no time.
Best Welder For Beginners: Buying Guides
Since you're starting, a budget is going to be a critical part of your assessment of what is a good welder. Beginner welders don't have a wealth of features. However, that doesn't mean that you should go for the cheapest option.
Instead, pick a welder that balances prices, quality and functionality. The ideal welder should line up with your future goals as a welder. If you intend to take the craft seriously, pick a welder that is higher up on the chain and can serve your purpose longer without having to upgrade in a short time.
#Type of welder
As you might have noticed from the reviews or your research, there are different types of welders. Three to be specific. Each type is built for different applications, materials and types of welding. There are the TIG welders, MIG welders, and the Stick welders.
It's imperative that you choose a type that performs the tasks you have in mind. When selecting the model, consider the materials you will be working with, conditions and also the type of welding required.
If you’re not sure, you can always find welders that straddle both functions like MIG and TIG welders or TIG and Stick welders depending on the application.
When going through the different power options, there are several parameters you need to consider. First, you will need to check the Voltage and amperage also, check if it is AC or DC and also if it has inverter technology or transformer technology.
Most beginner welders will come with a 115-120 volt option that allows you to use the transformer on standard household electrical outputs.
Most advanced options have a dual voltage that pairs the 120V with 220V for heavy-duty use. These might cost more but are a safer bet, especially when you're not sure what you will be working on next.
Safety is an essential aspect of welding. You need to make sure that you not only have the right safety equipment but that you also observe the necessary guidelines and buy a welder with the proper safety features.
Some of the safety gear you should have when welding includes welding helmet, welding jacket, welding boots, and gloves. The welder can also pack several features which include reduced spatter production and thermal overload mechanisms, among others.
Finally, pay attention to the warranty. Beginner welders can have a warranty of between 6 months to 5 years. This depends on the manufacturer and the quality of their products. The longer the warranty, the better.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Which is the best welder: A MIG, TIG or Stick?
A: Every type of welder is designed to handle different applications and materials. As such, it wouldn’t be a fair comparison to consider one as better over the other. It’s all about choosing the right welder for the right conditions, applications and materials.
Q2: How do I know when to use MIG vs TIG welding?
A: The biggest difference between these two types of welding is the thickness and type of metal being joined. MIG works better for thicker metals, while TIG is ideal for thin metals.
Q3: Which Welder will produce the strongest welding?
A: Stick and Arc welders have the strongest weld. However, as mentioned earlier, you need to consider what you want to accomplish before choosing which welder is the best.
Q4: How much electricity do I need to run a welder?
A: This depends on the design and features of the welder. Some varieties require up to 220V while others can work with as low as 110V.
Q5: Which is better: DC or AC?
A: DC welders have a smoother weld than AC welders. However, AC welders are easier to handle and are generally preferred for beginners.
Q6: Which is the simplest welder to use for learning?
A: MIG welders are the best for learning. They are easy to use and pack enough features to help you become skilled in a short period.
Q7: Do I need protection when welding?
A: The type of protection you need depends on the type of welding. Face protection is a standard while other applications will require you to wear protective clothing as well as a helmet and a hand shield.
As you start your welding journey, there’s a lot you need to figure out. By having a comprehensive product review and guide for the best welder for beginners we thought you would have one less thing to worry about.
The reviews featured herein are of some of the best, and highest-ranked welders in the market today and most that other beginner welders have had a lot of success with. We have tried to balance things out for hobbyists are professionals who will want to scale at some point in their career. We hope you found the review helpful and above all, found just the right welder to get you started.