The Two Best Entry Level Welders for Each Welding Process
In this blog post we are going to go over a couple budget friendly, entry level welders for each welding process. We picked the following welders based on customer feedback, overall popularity, and price point.
Not all MIG welders are created equally. Having a machine that is reliable and easy to set up is key!
The number one MIG welder we sell to a home hobbyist would be the Millermatic 211 MIG welder (907614). This machine is priced competitively and made my one of the best in the industry Miller Electric! Bonus right now there is a Build with Blue rebate making it more affordable to jump into the best! Check out the product page for more details.
The Millermatic 211’s have an Auto-set feature which is very convenient. Just plug in your material thickness, material and gas and the machine will set suggested parameters. The Millermatic 211 welds at 120 V: 115 A at 19.8 VDC with a 20% duty cycle and 240 V: 150 A at 21.5 VDC with a 40% duty cycle, giving it a slight edge in terms of duty cycle, but still offering a similar amount of power for welding compared to the ESAB.
Another MIG only welder that we recommend is the ESAB EM 210 MIG Welder 200A (0700501200). This welder is very budget friendly, currently coming in at $1099 (8/22).
This welder is an inverter-based welding system that comes ready to tackle steel, stainless and aluminum (with spool gun). Features professional-grade arc like characteristics and full featured digital controls which enable fine-tuning of the arc performance to deliver the most superior welds. The EM 210 has a rated output of 90 A/18.5 V (115 V) at a 40% Duty Cycle and a 200 A/24 V (230 V) at a 15% Duty Cycle. Plus it is make by ESAB so it includes the more heavy duty quality accessories than you would see in other similarly priced units.
Take a look at the video below where we explain the machine in detail.
If you are looking for TIG you likely want to practice some aluminum TIG. That means you will need an AC TIG unit.
For TIG welding there are some great entry budget friendly units. The first machine Bakers recommends is the Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200. This AC TIG unit is perfect for a small shop or the weekend welder. This machine has pulsed TIG with adjustable frequency, which is a feature typically found on more expensive machines.
This machine can weld up to 3/16" Aluminum or 3/8" Steel with a 25% duty cycle at 125 amps. Combine that with the AC pulsed TIG capabilities of this machine and you have a very solid setup. Overall great value and choice for an AC TIG machine.
The second TIG welder Bakers recommends comes from the leaders in TIG technology, CK Worldwide. The CK Worldwide MT200 AC/DC TIG welder is another great machine for the weekend welder or small repair shop. The MT200 packs the power and AC/DC features into a small portable 32 pound package.
This is a lesser-known TIG machine but it packs the power, reliability and has a warranty to match the big guys. This machine has a duty cycle of 30% at 160A @ 26.4V, making the duty cycle slightly better than the TIG 200. Learn more on the CK MT200 here.
At Baker's we do sell more Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200's. A few guys from our team own one and can speak to the quality and why they chose that over any other TIG option on the market.
The first budget friendly stick welder we chose is the Miller Electric Thunderbolt 160. This machine comes in at just $625 and has a $50 Build with Blue rebate as of (8/22). The Thunderbolt 160 comes with 140V and 240V plugs so you can take it anywhere. This machine can weld steel and stainless steel up to 3/16 at 120V and 3/8 at 240V.
To learn more about this machine take a look at the video below.
The final budget stick welder we wanted to mention is the ESAB MiniArc Rogue ES 180i Stick Welder. This machine can weld thicker than the Thunderbolt 160, it is capable of 1/2in thick metal. The MiniArc Rogue is also covered by ESAB's 3 years parts and labor warranty as well as no questions asked replacement in the first 90 days.
To learn more about the MiniArc Rogue take a look at the video below.
This was a quick look at some budget friendly machines for each welding process. Do you want to be able to do it all? Another option is going for a multiprocess unit. We have a deeper look in our blog post about the do it all Multimatic 220! (Yes it will AC TIG)
If you have any questions about what machine would best fit your application and needs, reach out to our team and we will be happy to assist you.