From DIY projects, auto bodywork, and household repairs to small workshops and farm jobs, you’ll get lots of use out of your welder. However, picking the best welder for a beginner can be quite an overwhelming task, especially if you’re not familiar with the different specs and features of welding machines.
Are you taking welding as a hobby? Or perhaps you’re planning to turn the craft into a moneymaker? Well, whatever the reason you’re you’re interested in the fascinating world of welding, it all comes down to choosing the right welder for learning this skill.
Don’t fret just yet! We’re here to help you through it all with a detailed guide of the information you need to know, as well as a list of the top 5 welders for beginners available on the market. So without further ado, let’s hop in!
Quick Comparison Table
Best Welding Machine For Beginner: Top 5 Reviews & Buying Guide
1. Hobart 500559 Handler 140 MIG Welder 115V
Starting strong with one of the most widely popular brands, Hobart presents us with yet another top-quality product, the Handler 140 MIG welder. This machine brings versatility to the table thanks to the output power of 25-140 amps, which lets it operate on a range of metals. It also features a 5-position voltage control selector, which results in a smooth, stable arc for outstanding performance.
The Hobart Handler 140 is one of the most accessible MIG welders for beginners. It also offers a robust weld of 24 gauge up to 1/4 inch mild steel. You can use this welder on copper, iron, brass, magnesium alloy, and aluminum cast with a wire feed speed of 40 to 700 IPM.
It may not provide the most accurate cut, but if you’re looking for a MIG welder to use even at a more advanced level, you can’t really go wrong with the Hobart Handler 140.
- Cast aluminum wire drive system
- Sloped control panel
- 5-position tapped voltage control selector
- Built-in gas valve
- 10 foot MIG gun
- 20% duty cycle at 90 amps
- Weight: 57 pounds
- Welds up to 24 gauge metal
- Smooth arc performance
- Has flux-cored feature
- Voltage control
- Easy to use
- Works for more experienced users
- Not the lightest machine
- Relatively expensive
- Doesn’t cut super accurately
2. Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130 Welding Machine
On the hunt for a true bargain? Well, you’re in luck! The Super Deal PRO MIG 130 may just be all you’ve been looking for, combining sturdiness with affordability to give a satisfying performance.
This welder is built using top-notch PVC to give a sturdy, rugged body that’s going to stay by your side for several years. It features 4 levels of current flow speeds, which are adjustable via convenient buttons so you can quickly tune the settings to best match your welding needs.
It’s a powerful machine producing 130 amps to tackle bigger jobs. Yet, you’ll find it light enough to carry around and compact to fit in limited spaces. Suppose you’re looking for even further savings. In that case, the Super Deal PRO MIG welder comes with many handy accessories, including a welding face mask, wire brush, extra 2 tips, and a chipping hammer.
- Made of high-quality PVC
- Digital soft key control panel
- 4 levels of current flow settings
- Flux-cored wire
- Self-release inert metal gas while welding
- Built-in cooling fan
- Voltage: 110V
- 35% duty cycle at 60 amps
- Weight: 38.1 pounds
- 4 current flow levels
- Small in size
- Less splatter
- Mask can be better
- Wire feed can get too fast
- The wire lining material tends to snap
3. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Automatic Feed
The Goplus MIG 130 welder is high adjustability and power delivery device. First of all, it’s among the lightest welding machines on the market so that you can take it anywhere you want with the utmost ease. It also has no issues concerning durability, thanks to the strong stainless steel constructing the machine’s body. Goplus means it when they say it’s built to last.
The range of applications you can get out of this MIG welder is really remarkable. It features 4 adjustable welding speeds and 10 levels of wire feeding speeds that you can switch between with a simple button press. All you need to do is select the optimum speeds for your welding project, and you’re pretty much set.
- Stainless steel body
- 4 levels of current flow settings
- 10 levels of wire feeding speeds
- Two air vents for overheating protection
- Automatic thermal safety protection
- 15% duty cycle
- Input voltage 110V
- Weights 35 pounds
- Very affordable
- Adjustable feeding rate
- Durable frame
- Long power cord
- Lacks a battery-powered system
- No warranty
4. AHP AlphaTIG 200X 200A IGBT TIG/Stick Welder
If you feel like taking up a bit of a challenge, then the AHP Alpha TIG welder should be right up your alley. This machine is specialized to deal with thinner gauged metals, working with anything between ¼ inch aluminum to ⅜ inch mild steel. Such a range is rather impressive for an excellent TIG welder.
The fact that it gives you more room to experiment is a great way to make you learn faster. It also operates on both 110V and 220V, so finding a suitable power outlet should be the least of your worries.
You’ll find this welder to feature advanced inverter technology. The IGBT controls the quick modulation of the pulse width from 10 to 200 amps. The whole thing is orchestrated using a foot pedal to give you the ultimate power of choice.
- Advanced Inverter technology
- Uses both direct and alternate current
- Operates on 110V and 220V
- Precise thin-gauge welding
- IGBT controlled pulse width modulation
- Weighs 69 pounds
- 3-year warranty
- IGBT technology ensures efficient performance
- Versatile applications
- Informative instruction guide
- The foot pedal is a hassle to handle, may slip away
- AC TIG may not start too smoothly
5. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit
Last but definitely not least, the Forney Easy Weld 29901 MIG welder offers more than just a welder. It’s an entire kit designed to give you the perfect send-off on your welding career.
This package offers you a welder, MIG welding wire spool, a fantastic helmet, and some high-quality welding gloves.
This particular helmet has such a unique design that you can call it a gadget on its own. It’s light, shock-resistant, and fireproof. You can adjust the headband to one of 5 points for an ideal fit. There’s also a sweatband mechanism to help reduce the head and neck strain resulting from the constant lowering during welding jobs.
The flux-cored technique requires no gas. The welding wires will use an Argon and Carbon dioxide mixture to prevent contamination. It has also been found that spatters are kept to a minimum due to adequate welding speed.
- No gas required
- Low splatter
- 20% duty cycle
- Runs on 120V
- Innovative helmet
- Weighs 32.6 pounds
- Easy to set up
- The kit is great for beginners
- Lightweight and portable
- Welding helmet
- Two pairs of welding gloves
- Clear instructions manual
- Decent price point
- Not for heavy-duty jobs
- No gas option for aluminum or stainless steel welding
- 6-foot long cords can be annoying
Breaking Down a Welder
In order to really understand the features of a welding machine, you need to know its basic structure and how it works.
As you already know, a welder connects two pieces of metal together, much like glue works. The way it sticks pieces of metal is by using heat to melt a portion of a joining material which fills the space between the pieces transforming them into a single metal piece.
This is called welding, and it’s a three-part process; the arc of welding, the filler material, and the weld shielding.
The arc of welding is those flying sparks you’ve probably seen before. They are generated as the welder machine completes an electric path between itself and the target metal to be welded by applying enough voltage.
Next up are the filler material metals, stick electrodes, and welding wires of two types, either flux-cored (tubular) wires or bare (solid) wires. The welding wires are included in the form of spools with your welding machine.
Lastly, the shielding of the weld is done via a shielding gas, produced explicitly from the heated fillers, to help prevent oxydation of the weld and give it some time to rest.
What Is The Easiest Type Of Welding To Learn?
Entering the welding world, you’ll encounter multiple welding methods. Three are the most common:
Those three are particularly prevalent thanks to their effectiveness and well-produced results.
However, each has advantages and disadvantages.
First up is one of the most well-known welding techniques; arc welding was once the go-to method for almost all welders. It gives very sturdy welds and works on the thickest metals without problems.
A real plus with this welding style is the immense stability it offers. In fact, it’s so stable that it can work around rust, dirt, and in very windy conditions. This is also the only technique capable of working cast iron.
The downside to arc welding is that it’s only used for metals of 1/16 inch thickness or more, so it’s not suitable for light work. It also calls for polishing the weld afterward.
This style of welding requires you to change the rods often and to take extra care, maintaining the arc to avoid getting burned due to the excessive amount of sparks. For these reasons, arc welding is a bit difficult to learn.
When it comes to answering the question at hand, most welders would agree that MIG welding is the easiest type of welding to learn.
Not only that, but it’s also very quick, super clean, and produces strong joints. This technique allows for working on thin metals and is aesthetically appealing.
Indeed, MIG doesn’t perform well in windy settings or on rusty and dirty metals, which is where flux-cored welding comes in. It’s very similar to MIG but does a much better job handling dirty and rusty metals. However, neither style can weld cast iron.
Finally, there’s TIG welding, the cleanest and most aesthetically pleasing welding technique. It’s incredibly precise, needs no follow-up cleaning, and works perfectly on thin metals.
In TIG, plasma is used to fuse metal pieces; hence, the unmatched accuracy. Argon gas is used as a shielding gas to protect the weld.
The negative side to TIG welding is how slow the process is. It takes much more time to produce welds compared to other styles. You’ll absolutely have to try it quite a few times before you begin to nail it down.
What Should You Consider Before Buying A Welder As A Beginner?
The choice of a good beginner welder can be confusing, so here are some points to account for before making your purchase.
Metal Type And Thickness
Right off the bat, you need to set your goals straight, meaning you should look at the type and thickness of metals you’ll be working with.
Generally, all welders can take on steel and stainless steel pretty quickly. While MIG is more suited for aluminum and Chromoly, TIG welders are better if you want to weld cast iron.
As for thickness, TIG does the best job on the thinnest metals, while arc and flux-cored welders can handle thicker metals that are no less than ⅛ inches thick.
This is a crucial feature that depends on the thickness of the metals you’re planning to weld. The thicker the metal, the higher the amperage required.
As a general rule, you’ll need 1 ampere of power for every 0.001-inch thick metal. So consequently, ¼ inch thick steel would need about 140 amps. As a beginner, you should be fine, starting with 100 amps of power for general welding projects.
The duty cycle is a period represented by a percentage that expresses the fraction of 10 minutes during which you can operate the welder before it overheats. For example, a 40% duty cycle means that the welder will run for 4 minutes and need the remaining 6 minutes to cool down.
This is important when you’re looking for a long welding time, and it’s affected by the output power. The higher the output power, the shorter the duty cycle.
Size and Weight
Thinks about how easy you want it to be when you carry your welder around or how limited your storage space is. You want to avoid bulky welders that are a pain to drag every time you want to move.
For a beginner, portability is always welcomed unless you plan on leaving your welding machine sitting in your garage.
This one should be a priority for any welder, no matter their experience level. At all times, make sure you’re using protective gear such as welding masks and gloves. A responsible approach with extra care can keep you away from severe accidents, including burns.
I need to buy a 110V MIG welder. Would the Hobart 140 be suitable for beginners?
Yes, this unit is suitable for beginners. One reason is that MIG welding is a lot easier than stick and TIG welding. With this welder, all you have to do is select the proper voltage and wire feed rate for the welding materials. The welding is pretty much automated.
Can the Hobart 140 be connected to a standard wall socket?
Yes, you can connect it to a 110V outlet on a 20A circuit, and like all welders, it will work with a portable generator.
Can it be used without gas?
Yes, it can, but for thicker metal, you’ll need shielding gas. Without gas, the 140 can weld very well tailpipe and about 1/8″ sheet metal.
Can the Hobart 140 weld mild steel, aluminum, and stainless steel without gas?
Mild steel: Yes. Aluminum and stainless steel, no. However, with gas, you will have welds cleaner than without gas.
I have little experience and have to weld 1/4 inch square tubes. Would you recommend the Hobart 140?
Perhaps the Handler 190 would be needed for this job.
Can the Super Deal 130 weld aluminum?
No, you will need a welder capable of using shielding gas.
Do it welds cal 22 metal sheet?
Would the Super Deal PRO work to weld a frame on a car?
Yes, this unit does an excellent job for the price, although you will need to practice making its best use.
Can I plug the Super Deal PRO into a standard house outlet, or do I need 210V?
You will need a 110V outlet.
What is the maximum thickness with mild steel?
The maximum thickness of steel that you can weld is 1/4 inch, and it penetrates very well.
Can it weld black iron pipe together?
Yes. Will this welder have enough power to join the metal panels of my car?
Absolutely yes, the adjustment to the minimum power will suffice.
What is the duty cycle of the AlphaTIG 200X welder?
The unit has a 60% duty cycle at 200A and 100% at 150A.
What’s the difference between the AHP 2018 and the 2016 models?
The 2018 version features the pulse function.
Can the AHP weld at least 1/8 “aluminum plates with 110V input?
Yes, but you will need at least 30A available.
Can the Forney 125 be used with gas shielding?
No, this machine is a Flux Core machine. It has no input for inert gas.
Where is built the Forney 125?
The unit is assembled in China, built with a durable steel case, beautiful finish, and excellent quality.
I’m a beginner just getting started in welding. Is the Forney 125 suitable for DIY jobs or hobby welding, such as joining a square tube?
This welder is easy to use and does not have extensive settings adjustments. Depending on the thickness of the metal and the duration of use, it can limit your work since it is not so powerful.
Conclusion & Best Offer
To decide on a winner, I made sure to consider ease of use and versatility above all other features because, let’s face it, as a beginner, that’s what it takes to really learn the craft. That’s why the preference goes to the Forney Easy Weld 29901 125 FC MIG Welder Start-Up Kit.
Not only does it offer a wide range of adjustable settings and accessories, but it also comes at a really affordable price.
The MIG Forney 29901/125 welder start-up kit is the best choice for working on garage projects, small home repair jobs, and so on. Besides being a unit whose quality is guaranteed by a brand like Forney, it is perfect for beginners.
However, suppose you want something to further improve your welding skills. In that case, the AHP AlphaTIG Welder would be a good choice as it utilizes a more advanced welding technique.