No welder is suited to every application. However, there are a limited number of projects a beginner welder can take on due to their experience and abilities. This is why we can say that there are only a few potential contenders for the title “best welder for beginners”. Here are our top recommendations. We’ll share the points in favor and against each model so you can find the one that’s right for you.
01. Hobart Model 500559 MIG Welder
This 115 volt Mig welder has 5 different voltage options; they range from 25 to 140 volts. It can weld 24 gauge metal up to 0.25 inch thick mild steel. It can weld steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. It can do both MIG (GMAW or gas metal arc) welding and flux-cored welding.
The wire feed speed can be anything from 40 to 700 IPM if there is a load, 50 to 740 inches per minute if there is no load.
You get a ten-foot MIG welding gun, ten feet of work cable with a clamp, a power cord, a dual gauge regular with a gas hose, contact tips, a driving role and a flux core wire spool. Hobart sells rolling carts and a lot of other supporting hardware for this welder. Those are sold separately.
One downside of this model is that it has mediocre quality control. The manufacturer doesn’t always ship it with the right components. The welder is solid but not top of the line. For example, it sometimes sputters and bubbles. The wire feeder motor doesn’t always run smoothly. When the connector is plugged in, it can be hard to unplug.
A different issue is the voltage/wire feed chart they provide you. Its recommended settings for wire size and material are too hot, and that can cause problems until you find a solution via costly trial and error.
- Comes with everything you want and need
- Plenty of related accessories and supplies
- Welds almost everything
- Quality issues
02. Weldpro 200 Amp Multi-Process Welder
This is the 2020 version of the Weldpro 200 amp inverter welder. It is capable of 110 volt and 220 volt power inputs. It can do MIG welding, TIG welding, and arc stick welding.
The MIG welding runs from 40 to 200 amps. The MMA welding runs from 40 to 200 amps. TIG welding is possible from 15 to 120 amps. However, it doesn’t TIG weld as well as it does other types of welding.
Note that there are differences in the welding diameter it can accept for each type of welding, so be careful to use the right wire and electrode combination. The digital display allows you to see and set both the amperage and wire speed. Yet it is a compact welder that you could carry with one or two hands to the worksite.
The unit seems to have a limited functional life. It may stop working after just a few months of heavy usage. In other cases, it runs but doesn’t properly control the wire speed or voltage. The gauge they provide sometimes leaks in and of itself.
The relative lack of instructions with the welding equipment makes it hard to use when you’re trying to figure things out. We will say this is the best welder for beginners who are already familiar with the various types of welding and trying to get better, not true beginners.
- Allows you to do three different types of welding
- TIG welding is the weakest of the three types of welding it does
- Lack of instructions despite its complexity
03. Lotos Brand Tig 200 AC/DC TIG Welder
This is a rugged little TIG welder. It can run on either 110 or 220 volts. It has a square wave inverter to maintain the right voltage. That makes your welding more accurate than comparably priced TIG welders. You can control it with a foot pedal, too.
This welder is capable of welding conventional steel, stainless steel and aluminum. The inverter makes it capable of welding thinner gauge material with clean, precise welds. The inverter also improves power efficiency; the unit’s efficiency can hit 80 percent. Note that this welder isn’t a pulse welder; that’s a different unit by Lotos, though it has a similar price tag.
One issue with this unit is the torch lead. It has a short operational life. A different issue is an electrical system. It sometimes shorts out. It may literally burn out. The argon will be used up in just a few hours.
The controls can have issues, too. If you take your foot off the pedal, the torch burns for up to five seconds. That’s a problem if the pedal is supposed to be a safety measure. If the foot pedal itself shorts out, you can’t turn it off.
- Can weld various materials including thin aluminum sheets
- Energy-efficient for a welder
- The torch may burn too long or burn out
04. WeldPro Brand 200 GD AC/DC TIG/Stick Welder with Pulse
This is a dual voltage TIG welder. It can run on both 110 and 220 volts, and it comes with a 110 220 adapter, though it runs better at 220 volts than 110. It has a CK torch, though WeldPro offers a similar welder with a Euro torch. This model of welder comes with a ground cable, torch number 17, flow meter, regulator and foot pedal.
This stick and tig welder has the ability to pulse. Furthermore, you can adjust the pulse strength as well as the AC balance and AC frequency. This feature is generally reserved for more expensive welders. We’ll say this is the best welder for beginners who already know the basics of TIG welding.
The entire assembly weighs around fifty pounds. It is in theory portable.
It can weld stainless steel and welded steel. It does better with thinner sheets than thicker ones.
The argon regular is prone to breaking. It sometimes leaks gas, too. It may not even get gas to the welding tip.
- Both AC and DC
- Has the ability to pulse
- Issues with an argon regulator
05. Forney Brand Easy Weld Model 251 Plasma Cutter
This Forney brand “easy weld” plasma cutter is designed for beginners. It is one of the cheaper welders in its product category. It can cut aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel. It can cut anything from thin sheet metal to quarter inch thick sheets. The manufacturer says it can even be used on thin pieces of copper and brass, something no other welder on our list can do.
It only needs 120 volt power, so you can start using it in your garage. It relies on compressed air, not argon or water cooling systems. Again, this allows the average hobbyist to use it.
The welder comes with the cutting torch, ground clamp, 20 amp to 15 amp adapter, a spare nozzle and an additional electrode. It requires an air compressor capable of delivering 1.5 cubic feet per minute to run, but that is sold separately if you don’t already have one. If you have compressed air tools in your garage, the odds are that you can run this welder.
You can use a standard extension cord with it. You can use a 12 AWG or larger extension cord up to 25 feet long with this welder.
Forney makes it easy to get replacement cutting tips and nozzle tips. The challenge is getting other supporting hardware like hoses and carts.
The drag torch technology makes it easy to weld, but it works slowly. You need to go even slower on thicker pieces of metal. We’ll recommend this for one-eighth inch thick sheets or thinner if you don’t want to spend hours welding. While it can in theory weld quarter-inch-thick aluminum, we’d recommend a different welder for such jobs.
- Can be used in the average person’s garage
- Easy to get consumable parts for it
- Can be used with a wide range of materials
- Slow welding tip
- Struggles with thick material
The best welder for your workshop is one that handles the materials you want to cut and shape as well as matching your skill level. Compare your wants and needs to the welders on our list so that you find the best welder for you.