MIG welding is the most common form of welding and most of the new welders start their work with MIG welding. However, there are other kinds of welding too such as:
- Flux cored welding
- TIG welding
- Stick welding
- Plasma cutting
As far as MIG is concerned it is acronym for Metal Inert Gas. Well it is a subtype of the GMAW type of welding which stands for Gas Metal Arc Welding. In MIG welding there is an electric arc produced between the wire electrode and the metal sheet that is to be welded.
The wire electrode is used up in the welding process and therefore needs to be supplied continuously as it keeps melting. This supply of the wire can be automatic or manual depending on your preference. The heat that is produced due to the passing of electricity melts the consumable wire as well as the metal sheet so much so that they melt and fuse together to form a joint that is inseparable.
There is another thing that is important in welding and this a shielding gas. This shielding gas protects the whole area from oxidation by consuming all of the oxygen present in the immediate vicinity of the process. This is different from the flux core welder where the wire is hollow and is filled with flux that prevents oxidation.
When the metal and the consumable electrode come in contact an electric is produced which has enough heat to melt the wire as well as the metal that needs to be welded making it possible for the two to join together strongly.
For the process of MIG welding to take place smoothly there is a requirement of a constant voltage and a DC power source that can be replaced by an alternating current. The whole process requires you to transfer metal on to the surface that is at the same temperature and that needs to be joined. There are four different techniques that can be used to transfer metal such as:
- Short circuiting
- Pulsed spray
The main importance of MIG welding is in welding non-ferrous metals such as aluminum but now it is also being used to weld steel and stainless steel. Generally the cost of welding used to be very high due to the high cost of the inert gas like Argon that was used.
But, now the cost has come down considerably since the use of carbon dioxide became prevalent and this has made MIG the most used welding process in the world.
Top 5 Best Mig Welder 2018
Hobart 500559 Handler Wire Welder
Hobart welder is a very user-friendly kind of welding machine that is easy on your pockets and still is able to give a tremendous performance as far as ease of use, transportability and versatility are concerned. Whether you want to do the welding of the body of an automobile or any big project or for that matter any small repair just around your home or property, you can use this welding machine without any hassles.
- The weight of Hobart is just 57 pounds that make it highly portable.
- The machine is the measurements of 19 inch×11 Inch×13 inch
- This machine is designed to work on medium power because it works on 115 volts with and amperage output of 25 to 140 Amps.
- There are 5 voltage settings on which this welding machine can work and can weld even industrial cast aluminium.
- The machine has a duty cycle of 90 A at 20 percent. This means that every ten minutes you can use the machine for 2 minutes before you can give it some rest.
- The metal thickness of this rough and tough model is 24 gauge which would on the fourth of n inch on mild steel.
- This machine does not take long to set up and needs just a standard plug point to start working.
- This welding machine is made in the USA and comes with five voltage settings as well as fast change drive roll for a better control on the speed of the wire being fed into the machine.
- The work clamp is made for working with high amperage of 200 Amp.
Lincoln Power MIG 180C K2473-2
Lincoln electric welder is designed to be easy to use as it has a user-friendly interface and features that would ensure the durability of the machine. This machine comes with a special technology that makes working with it even easier as compared to other machines in the same category.
- The machine weighs a total of 66 pounds and therefore is quite portable.
- The dimensions of this welder are 14 inches× 10.15 inch× 18.6 inch which makes it a smaller machine as compared to others.
- This machine is heavy duty and works on high voltage of 208/230 Volts
- The duty cycle of this machine at 130 A is at 30% which makes it suitable to work for a total of 3 minutes at a stretch.
- The machine has been designed to cause little or no splatter at all.
- The wire is fed through dual gear drive rolls that give positive traction to the wire and keep it tangle free.
- This machine works with both gas and flux core wires and the wire speed can be adjusted between 50 and 500 inches per minute according to your need.
- The arc is great because of the diamond core technology used in this welding machine.
- The machine has been designed to weld metal sheets of three-sixteenth of an inch with the metal inert gas welder whereas if you are using a flux core wire then you can weld half an inch of metal sheet. This gives you the freedom of choosing whatever type of welding you want to do.
- This machine has great guides that work perfectly to align the wire for a perfect welding and fine finish.
Forney 308 MIG Welder
Forney welder is a great welding machine whether it is for its functions or its looks or its price. The best thing about this welder is that it can be used with or without gas. This means that if you want you can use this machine with shielding gas or with the flux core wire that due to the flux filled in its core gives shielding to the welding surface from oxidation.
- This welding machine is moderate in weight and weighs 59 pounds. This makes it portable and can be carried easily by two men. There is a handle given at the top of the machine to aid in its transportation.
- The dimensions of the machine are 20 inches ×10 inch ×16 inch. Though this machine is little bigger than the rest of the machines but it does not weigh as much and therefore is a good choice.
- The machine can be used to deliver high power because it works at a high voltage of 230 Volts. The amperage output needed for this machine is 35 to 180 A.
- This welding machine has a duty cycle of 25percent. This means that out of ten minutes you can easily use this machine continuously for 2.5 minutes. This helps you in completing your work without stopping much in between.
- The maximum metal thickness that this machine can weld is three-eighths of an inch which is fairly thick. This means that you can employ this machine for most of your welding needs.
- Forney welding machine comes with a great feature and that is a cooling fan. This cooling fan keeps the machine cooler while it is working and you can even adjust the speed of this fan according to the need.
- Though there is a cooling fan but there are always chances of the welding machine getting overheated due to excessive load or due to high voltage. This, however, could be dangerous for you and that is why this machine has been provided with a thermal overload shutoff. This feature prevents the machine from working unless it reaches a certain temperature.
- This machine also has a feature of many voltage settings. When you need to weld a thinner sheet of metal you can choose the lower voltage setting for lesser power. This will not only reduce the power consumption by the welding machine but will also help in reducing the heat produced by the welder.
LONGEVITY Migweld 140
This is another low power welder that is capable of welding three-eight of an inch of steel sheet. The welder is black in color and weighs a total of 54 pounds. Longevity migweld welder is a great welding machine because it can weld all the types of metals including Aluminum.
- This machine operates on standard power outlet of 110v and comes with a power plug installed already.
- The welder is powerful and can weld various metals.
- The consumable wire that is found in the local stored can be used for welding with this welder.
- The welder work equally well with gas or with flux core wire welding that is done without gas.
- You can easily learn to operate it as well as assemble it.
- The welder is portable and comes with a handle to hold it.
- The welder can hold a total of 11 pounds of spool of wire.
LOTOS MIG175 175AMP
This welder is one of its kinds and comes in two types- metal and plastic. The blue color of the welder is soothing to eyes and it comes with a spool gun and a mask. This welder that weighs 85 pounds is an imported item and comes in cubical shape.
- This welder works on 175 Amp and 200volts to 240 volts. This means that it is suitable to weld thicker sheets of metal.
- It can weld all kinds of metals such as stainless steel, steel, aluminum, bronze, copper etc.
- You adjust the speed with which the wire is fed into the system.
- The welder weighs about 85 pounds that makes it really heavy with dimensions of 18 inch × 12.5 inch × 10.5 inch
- The product comes with one year warranty against any manufacturing defects.
- You could even opt for the model that comes without the spool gun.
Advantages and Drawbacks of MIG welding
There are many benefits of MIG welding and a few of them have been listed below:
- Learning is easy: MIG welding is the easiest form of welding and the welders who want to learn do that with MIG.
- Used for variety of metals: MIG welding is capable of welding many types of metals such as aluminum alloys, steel, stainless steel, bronze, silicon, magnesium, copper, nickel and many other alloys. All you need to take care of it is to use the right kind of shielding gas, the right electrode and the right welding conditions and you are good to go.
- Can weld metals of varied thicknesses: With MIG you can weld wire of 26 gauge on one hand and thick metal sheet on the other hand without any problem.
- All position welding: MIG welding can be done in any position. Even the overhead welding gives no problems at all.
- Neat weld: Since the shielding from oxidation is provided by gas there is no need to remove the slag after the welding process is complete. You will get a neat weld at all times.
- Quick: MIG welding process is faster as compared to any other type of welding.
- Aesthetic: The welding done with MIG is more aesthetic as compared to flux cored Welding.
Though MIG welding is the most preferred type of welding but it is still not devoid of some drawbacks and they are:
- If you are to weld thick metal sheets you will have to carry out the welding process in several phases.
- There is less control when you are dealing with thicker materials.
- MIG welding more suitable for indoor welding needs. You cannot use it in farms and open spaces because of the use of gas and the risk of porosity.
- The equipments that are required for this type of welding are expensive to buy and are far more complex than any other welding equipments.
MIG Welder Equipment:
The MIG welder consists of the following equipments:
- A welding gun for holding all the units in place
- A power supply
- A supply of shielding gas for protecting the welding field from oxidation and helping the weld to be free of any bubbles
- A feeder system for the consumable wire that will be used up in the process of welding and will need to be supplied at a constant speed
The working of MIG welder:
The welding process requires heat that melts the metal which then fuses to make a joint. However, this heat is produced by the short circuit. This heat then causes the metal electrode (consumable wire) to melt and it is placed in the desired location of welding by techniques like globular, short-circuiting, spray or pulsed spray.
When the gun is shut down the metal starts cooling and a joint is created fusing two pieces into one. The consumable wire is fed into the gun automatically or in the semiautomatic machines manually.
The quality of the joints:
The joins formed by MIG welding are more supple and smooth. Their strength is also more as compared to other forms of welding. There is little or no distortion caused when you use MIG welding. Since the joint is smooth you need not do a lot of polishing.
You can even join two dissimilar metals but you must select the electrode metal such that it has properties close to both the metals being welded. The speed of welding is greater with MIG welding as compared to other welding methods because of many reasons such as there is a constant feeding of wire during the process. This will not require you to stop your welding every now and then making it more efficient and time saving.
What Features Should a Good Metal Inert Gas Welder Have?
You will find a lot many models of MIG welders in the market that you can choose from and all of them claim to be the best. But, it is important for you to get your hands on the best MIG welder for your needs. For this you need to do a little home work and need to read about the best MIG welders available in the market and their reviews. This will help you make the informed decision and choose the best MIG welderone for you.
When you want to buy Best MIG Welder in the market 2018 you must know something about what a good welding machine must have. These are:
The welding machine works on power. The more power the machine uses the more voltage it will require. Generally the machines come in a voltage range of 110-120. If you are sure that you will need the machine for minor repairs and welding of thin metals sheets then you can go for low voltage welding machine.
But, it is always better to choose a machine that can deliver in low as well as high voltage because you never know what work you may require to do. For this you will need a machine that has a feature of adjustable voltage. Such machines give you a lot of freedom of choosing the thickness of metal that you want to weld.
Heat Overload Protection:
This is a very important feature that you must seek in your machine. Though this feature is very important, you will encounter many welding machines that do not have this feature. The overheating of a machine could be dangerous not only for the machine but also for you and the place where it is kept. There should be an auto shut off mechanism so that in case of overheating the machine shuts off by itself.
This is also an important feature that you must look out for because it will tell you about the time that you can operate the machine for, continuously. This is measured in an increment of ten minutes. If your machine has duty cycle of 30%, it means that you can use the machine continuously for 2 minutes and then you need to give it rest.
Higher the duty cycle faster you will be able to complete your work. This also means that you must not work longer than the recommended duty cycle of the machine at a stretch because that may lead to unnecessary heating up of the machine and therefore damage to the important parts reducing the durability of the welder.
Material Thickness that can be Welded:
When you buy a welding machine you do not expect it to weld only a certain thickness of metal. This is why most of the welders are given with settings that can be adjusted for a particular metal thickness.
However, knowing about the maximum and minimum thickness of metal that can be welded will only help you keep your machine working for long without repairs. Being able to adjust the machine to weld a wide variety of metal thickness will only help you in expanding your work. After all you cannot buy different machines for welding different metal thickness:
Whether it is your business or your hobby if your Best MIG Welder in the market 2018 is so heavy that it cannot be lifted or carried anywhere else then it is just a waste of money. But, if you just want to keep the welding machine in your garage and work with it occasionally then it would not be much of a problem whether or not it is heavy. However, if the machine has one handle and is modest in weight so that it can be carried by two people, it would just be an added advantage.
Wire size and wire type:
When you buy a welding machine you must keep in mind that the welding machine will determine your choice of wire. There are two most commonly used types of wire that you can work with while welding and they are:
ER70S-3 is used in conditions when the metal surface that is being welded is dirty or has rusted. This wire is designed to give out more of the deoxidizing substances and hence results in a joint that is strong and supple.
ER70S-6 is more of an all purpose wire and is used in all kinds of welding needs. It has moderate amount of deoxidizers and it is better to be used on surfaces that are clean and fresh.
However, when you buy a welding machine you must make sure that you can use both kind of wire for welding or the kind that will more aptly suit your needs.
Easy to use:
The welding process is not very complicated one but if the machine has not too many buttons it would be easier to use. The coloured knobs, digital displays and a handy-gun would make your work easier and more fun. When you are busy welding, you will not want to get confused with too many buttons or knobs that are similar looking. This is definitely going to affect your efficiency and cause delay in work.
When you are out in the market to buy a welding machine you must read through the MIG welder reviews.These reviews will help you find the Best MIG Welder in the market 2018.