If you are a Do-it-Yourself kind of person or own a small workshop, then you do not need the most powerful welder out there. There are plenty of small welding machines capable of getting small welding tasks done.
Given that MIG welders are easy to use, the best small MIG welder is what you will need. But which small MIG welder is right for you? In this article, we narrowed down the search to four MIG welders.
We picked the WeldPro 155 AMP inverter welder as our top choice. It is the most versatile of the four and has a dual input voltage. The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Welder comes in second place.
The other two options are still worth considering, though, especially for those on a tight budget.
best Small MIG Welder Comparison Table
Best Small MIG Welder Reviews
WeldPro 155 AMP INVERTER MIG/STICK ARC WELDER
- 30% duty cycle
- 115/230v dual input voltage
- 30-155 amps power output range
- 78-472 ipm wire feed speed rate
- 21 pounds weight
- Ground clamp included
What I liked
- Weighing 21 pounds, it is a lightweight and compact welder.
- Is a versatile welder capable of stick, gas, and gasless MIG welding
- Has dual input voltage capabilities
- Has an impressive wire feed speed rate of up to 472 IPM
- This welder can weld up to ¼ inch thick steel.
- Is not the most beginner-friendly welder
- The leads it comes with are short.
For such a small welder, the Weldpro 155 amp inverter welder has a lot to offer. As its name suggests, it is capable of both MIG and stick welding. So how does it perform as a MIG welder?
Compact and lightweight
Weighing about 21 pounds, this is the best portable MIG welder on the list. In terms of size, this welder measures 15 x 13.6 x 6.7 in. This makes it one of the smaller offerings from WeldPro.
A compact and lightweight design is all well and good, but what about its performance? Well, the first thing to note is that this is a dual input voltage welder. As such, you can plug it into either a 110/115v power outlet or a 220/230v power outlet.
When it comes to power output, it ranges from 30 to 155 amps. This is enough to weld ¼ inch thick steel sheets. Its duty cycle of 30% is also impressive for such a small welder.
This welder is capable of stick and MIG welding. And when it comes to MIG welding, it can both flux core and gas MIG welding. This makes it a versatile welder capable of being used in a wide variety of welding projects.
Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Welder
- 20% duty cycle at 70 amps
- Four voltage settings
- 115v input voltage
- 35-88 amps power output range
- 0-300 IPM wire feed speed range
- Gasless nozzle included
What I liked
- Overall it is an affordable welder that offers value for money.
- Weighing 26 pounds, it is still portable.
- Runs on a standard low voltage 115 v input voltage
- It has an in-built fan to keep it cool
- It comes with four voltage settings to adjust the voltage.
- Cannot weld metals thicker than ⅛ inches
- While it is cheap, you have to purchase a gas tank separately.
A popular welder among hobbyist welders, the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG welder, is small in size and lightweight. However, do not let its small size deceive you as it is a capable machine.
Unlike the Forney Easy Weld 261, it can handle both gas MIG and gasless flux-core welding. This means you can do more. Furthermore, it can weld metal sheets as thin as 24 gauge up to ⅛ inch thick sheets.
With a max power output of 88 amps, this is one of the lowest power output machines. Nonetheless, it does offer you the ability to adjust the voltage. It features four voltage settings to choose from, with the highest setting being for welding ⅛ inch thick metal.
The duty cycle of this welder is what you would expect at 20% at 70 amps. As for input voltage, it runs on a standard 115v input voltage.
While it is a small welder designed for light-duty tasks, it still comes with safety features. In-built into the welder is a cooling fan to prevent overheating. Also, the welder has a cold contractor feature designed to keep the wire cold.
Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i Welder, 120V, Green
- 30% duty cycle
- 115/230v dual input voltage
- 30% duty cycle at 90 amps
- 120v input voltage
- 8 ft ground clamp
- 8 ft MIG gun
- 140 amps power output
- 19 pounds weight
What I liked
- It runs on a standard 120v power outlet
- Is it lightweight and portable, weighing only 19 pounds?
- Offers an adjustable wire feed speed and voltage control
- It has a metal housing that guarantees durability
- It is easy to use, making it ideal for beginners.
- It’s a flux-core only MIG welder.
- At 3 inches per second, it has a relatively slow wire feed speed rate.
The Forney Easy Easy Weld 261 is a lightweight MIG welder that is easy to use. However, these aren’t the only things it has going for it.
This is the kind of welder any DIYer would love to have. It plugs into a standard 120v power outlet and produces a max power output of 140 amps. Not the most powerful, but it is powerful enough to weld ¼ inch thick mild steel.
Also, its duty cycle of 30% at 90 amps is quite decent for such a small machine. Of worth noting is that this is a flux-core only MIG welder.
Where this welder truly shines is in the portability department. Weighing only 19 pounds, this inverter welding machine is easy to carry. Also, it will not require a lot of storage space.
Easy to use
The Forney Easy Weld 261 seems to have been designed for beginner welders. It is easy to use with voltage and wire feed speed controls. This means you can adjust the two to match the welding task at hand.
SUNCOO 130 MIG Welder
- 110v input voltage
- Variable wire feed speed control
- Two air vents
- Ground cord included
- 130 amps max power output
- 33 pounds weight
What I liked
- It is small and lightweight.
- It runs on a standard low voltage 110v power outlet
- Features wire feed speed knob for adjusting the wire feed speed
- Offers the ability to adjust the current flow
- Included in the package are several accessories.
- This is a flux-core only MIG welder.
- It is not ideal for welding thicker sheets of metal
The cheapest MIG welder on our list is the SUNCOO 130 MIG welder. This flux-core only welder is small and lightweight. More importantly, it is capable of getting the job done.
Being a small welder, the SUNCOO works with a standard 110v power outlet to deliver a maximum power output of 130 amps. It gives you the ability to adjust the wire feed speed with ten wire feeding speed settings.
You can also adjust the current flow with four buttons. This means you have control of the welder’s settings.
Measuring 13.4″ by 7.2″ by 11.4″, this is a compact welder that will not take up a lot of space. Furthermore, it is relatively lightweight, weighing 33 pounds. It is thus easy to carry and can be used for most DIY projects.
The welder features two air vents that help with heat dissipation. Also, this welder does come with several accessories. These include a welding gun, mask, welding wire, and two fuses.
How to Choose the best small MIG welder
What should you look at when shopping for a small MIG welder, either for home use or for your small workshop? Here are the main factors to consider before making a choice.
How much power do you need to power your welder? For light to medium tasks at home, you should be able to use your home’s standard 115/120-volt socket. That being said, the best portable MIG welder will be one capable of running on a 115 or 120v input voltage.
Having one that can run on a 220 or 230 v input voltage, such as the WeldPro 155 AMP INVERTER MIG/STICK ARC WELDER, is a bonus.
Small welders are not designed for lengthy continuous use. As a DIYer, you are unlikely to weld for three minutes straight. This means a duty cycle of more than 40% is more of an overkill. However, the duty cycle should not again be too low.
The best option is a 20 to 30% duty cycle. This should give you enough room to complete any welding task at home or in your small workshop.
Gas or gasless
When it comes to MIG welding, you can opt for either gas or gasless flux-core welding. To cut down on costs, flux-core welding will make more sense. However, it never hurts to have the ability to MIG weld with shielding gas.
Flux core only MIG welders tend to be cheaper than dual gas and gasless welders. Thus if you are on a tight budget, a flux-core only welder may be a sensible option.
A welder’s power output will depend mainly on its input voltage. A 200 amps welder will require a 230v input voltage. For a small welder with an input voltage of 115 or 120v, you are looking at an output of below 200 amps.
Nonetheless, a higher power output rating means the ability to weld thicker sheets of metal.
Weight and portability
Weight is important when you are going to buy a small MIG welder. low weight and portable welder is always preferable for outdoor and DIY work.
FAQs About Small MIG Welder
If you are looking for something small that will be good enough for light to medium welding tasks, you cannot go wrong with any of the above four. The four offer good performance and are easy to use.