A weld in time saves nine!
Yes, if you timely fix the broken things, their lifespan will be extended.
Whether you are a professional, a DIY enthusiast, or a maintenance specialist, it is paramount to own a portable welder.
Being a homeowner, it makes less sense to wait for days for a professional welder to come and repair something which you could do on your own, in a few seconds, saving you your valuable money and inconvenience.
Similarly, if you are a professional maintenance service provider, having your portable welder is crucial. Don’t forget that you have to commute carrying it to different sites, hence it has to be portable.
While it is good to have a variety of options to choose from, it is also cumbersome as one can easily get muddled up, not knowing what to choose.
The best way to choose one for you could be to go through thousands of consumers’ reviews found on buying sites. But we have made this process easy for you by our detailed guide below, written in the light of consumers’ hands-on experience with different portable welders.
Top 12 Best Portable Welding Machine Reviews & Buying Guide
1. Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder
You will come across this renowned name at the top of any best MIG portable welders’ list. Manufactured by Forney, which enjoys an unwavering reputation in the welding industry, it is a flux-cored, glassless welder which doesn’t let the welded part oxide and consequently guarantees long-term repairs.
Decently priced, Forney Weld 261 is equipped with a control to regulate wire feed speed. Its unlimited voltage lets you weld 24-gauge metals of up to ¼ inches.
This sturdy welder boasts an optimal amp set up to 140 Amps which lets you handle varied metals ranging from thick 24-gauge sheets to mild and thin metals with a maximum thickness size of ¼ inches. Hence, Forney Easy Weld 261 can be queued with versatile welders in the market.
It comes with a torch wrap that ascertains the machine’s effectiveness in narrow dark places too.
You will be delighted to know that Forney Easy Weld 261 weighs only 19 pounds and measures 8.125” x 16.75” x 12”. This makes its transportation easy if you happen to take it for repair, maintenance or for any other DIY project to another site.
It has a sturdy metal case covering all its sides, which renders its durability while multiple controls enable it to handle difficult welding processes with ease. Owing to these features, you will find Forney Easy Weld 261a dedicated welding partner which completes the assigned tasks with precision.
One of the big downsides of this model is that it is limited to the parts manufactured at Forney industries alone. Therefore, in case of any damage, you would have to rush to their designated store or order the parts online and wait for them to be delivered. Your local dealer can’t help.
Another issue with Forney Easy Weld 261 is that its power cycle is 30 % at 90 amps,which certainly is not an ideal amperage for heavy projects. However, it does perfectly well for all the light welding tasks.
2. DEKOPRO MMA Welder,160A ARC Welder Machine
If you are looking for a powerful and easy to use portable welder, consider DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder. It’s an Amazon’s bestseller and a versatile welding machine that will make all your soldering chores a breeze.
Ideally built for repairing mild stainless steel, plain mild steel, and cast iron, DEKOPRO 110/220V MMA Welder comes with an IGBT power device that delivers advanced power control to accelerate the performance.
Out of the welders rounded up in this review, it is a potent welder that comes with some reliable control modes which multiply its performance.
Its compact build makes it comfortable to handle not only during operations but also when you are carrying it from one welding site to another.
An added advantage of its compactness is the ease to store. You don’t have to worry if you have a tiny tool shed as DEKOPRO 110/220V can be cornered anywhere, even in a small attic.
It is highly adaptable to most of the electricity networks. It also provides closed-loop feedback when setting to its leading control mode.
Another remarkable feature is its stable output voltage. It’s also efficient in its energy usage.
Another good news is that you will not have to wait for long in between two welding sessions as DEKOPRO 110/220V comes with relatively increased welding frequency.
Starting its arc is fanatically convenient. The leads delivered with the unit are long enough to reach 8 inches of distance too. You may run it vertically, horizontally, or upside down on any kind of metals, you will find it running as a butter.
On the minor side, the machine with its black and yellow tone and weirdly designed dials and ports is quite clumsy in its look. Moreover, some negative views about faulty parts and no power out of the box, one may raise a questioning brow at the brand’s quality control.
But, is it still recommendable?
In all fairness, Yes.
As DEKOPRO 110/220V with its sturdy build, durability, expert handling of aluminum, weld steel, cast iron, brass, bronze, and other metals, and efficiency makes a better pick than many other sub-quality portable arc welders.
3. Goplus ARC Welder, Lift, Anti-Stick TIG Welding Machine
It can be a no-brainer for you because the brand it hails from has long carved a name in manufacturing durable and quality tools.
It’s a 2-in-1 welder with MMA and TIG processes well incorporated in a single unit and proves itself to be the best pick for MMA and DC TIG welding.
It can easily become a dependable work tool for your commercial and domestic use due to its power and dedication to the task assigned.
For safety assurance, Goplus ARC Welder is geared up with a reinforced nylon panel. For improved safety, it also has a well-thought-of and well-built system that will warn you of over-voltage, under-voltage, and over-heating- the must-have features in any portable welder to prevent you from accidental burns and injuries
.As compared to many of its counterparts, it is going to prove itself a lot safer while you use it. Given its beginner-friendliness, I would emphatically advise the first-time users to buy this model.
Its handy connection for output power renders its ease of useand steadfastness.
Goplus ARC Welder is equally good to weld metals like nickel, alloys, stainless steel, brass copper bronze, and steel, etc.
At unboxing, you will get a facemask with a filter, a ground clamp, a strap, a cleaning brush, an electrode holder, and a UL certified adapter.
Besides having beginner-friendly features and ergonomic structure, Goplus ARC Welder, 200 AMP is manufactured to deliver high-quality performance. To add to this, its compact architecture makes it highly versatile. All these features when combined in one unit make Goplus ARC Welder, 200 AMP an ideal pick for home repairs like welding appliances, sheet metals, or more serious welds on outdoor equipment such as auto repairs or those of lawnmowers or tractors.
The only quibble with it is that it stops even if there is a mild loophole left in its components, which usually go unnoticed by many other portable welders and their operations continue. However, its manifold features outweigh this petty issue.
In sum, it enjoys excellent ARC stability, optimal welding performance, stable heat dissipations, and perfect anti-sticking ability.
4. Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST
If after reading all the previous reviews you are still undecided, you may consider buying this model which guarantees finely finished professional welds in any job assigned to it.
It’s as-small-as-a-sandwich maker size and lightweight may make you feel skeptical about its performance and power. However, once you start welding something with it, you will get to know how well it works.
In fact, unlike its elder sibling, reviewed above, Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST is capable to handle metals with thickness up to 5/16 inches with metals with 16 gauge.
With this stunning capability, Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST gives a one place solution to all your repairs and maintenance whether at home or in the workshop.
It’s the best option for professional welders because it allows them to perform all the welding chores at home and outside with equal ease.
However, this should not lead you to think that Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST must be a very heavily built portable welder. You will be amazed to know that this heavy-duty welder weighs only 9.65 pounds which makes its transportation from home to worksite extremely convenient.
To ensure its portability, the manufacturer has given it incredibly small footprints, making its commutation easier. Its application includes DIY maintenance and repairs. This feature makes it the best choice for hobbyists and beginners.
This unit can be continuously run for 3 minutes if you set it to the 80-amp setting. Although this rate is slightly lower as compared to Forney Easy Weld 261, it still is a decent rating in this price range.
One of its downsides is that it falls out of breath when setting on low amperage and that is the reason many consumers reported that Forney Easy Weld 298 Arc Welder 100ST is slightly underpowered at the lower amp. However, once it is set to 90 amp and over, its working will be smoothened.
5. ZENSTYLE Welding Machine DC Inverter IGBT Stick Arc Welder
Featuring relatively high capacity, ZENSTYLE Arc Welding Machine DC Inverter is a sleek arc welder as compared to the other heavy-duty and bulky commercial welders.
Manual metal arc welding which is a popular process in stick welding is just a breeze for this welding machine, thanks to its user-friendly controls that seamlessly switch between AC and DC voltage stick.
It is a versatile welder and can be used either to cut or maintain steel, stainless steel and aluminum, and many other metals.
It isa powerful yet energy-efficient unit that makes use of dual voltage and IGBT technology to provide a continuous supply of heat during the welding procedure.
Much to users’ comfort, it is light in weight and has an in-built handle that makes its commutation hassle-free. You may comfortably take it anywhere to use it for handling your outdoor welding projects.
Unlike other small welders that usually have a tough handle to carry at the top of the unit for transporting the machine, ZENSTYLE Arc Welding Machine DC Inverter has a much smaller and foldable handle. You can choose to fold it back when not in use. This adds to its portability and makes it more compact to store at a small place.
For improved ease of use, it has a nylon shoulder strap too at the top of the carrying handle, which is adjustable to the height of different users.
The package includes an electrode holder along with a 5 feet long cable, an input power adapter wire, a work lamp, an instruction manual, and a 6.7ft. cable.
If you are going to buy a portable welder for the first time, ZENSTYLE Arc Welding Machine DC Inverter will be the best for you as it doesn’t need expert hands for its operations. All you have to do is to plug it into a regular 110v electric socket. Furthermore, it can switch between AC and DC power and is ideal for DIY projects at home.
One minor concern the consumers voiced about this welder is that its ground clamp cord and electrode cords are too short in length. Although a minor issue, it could be a deal-breaker for some buyers.
In all, it is versatile, durable, and convenient.
6. AUTOOL EMW-508 ARC IGBT Portable Welding Machine
There are multiple reasons to heap praise on this welder. The first being its IGBT system that heavily contributes towards precise welding performance delivered by the machine. Other praiseworthy features include auto power-off, high-speed fans, digital chip control, and overheating protection.
AUTOOL EMW-508 ARC Welding Machine is a DC stick welder weighing only 12.3 pounds with 11.4” x 7.9” x 5.1” dimensions, light weighted and compact to qualify for being a portable welder.
Its power off system comes with complete protection against overheating the unit during welding operations. Thanks to the high-speed fans installed in the unit which keep dissipating the heat emitted by the machine during welding. The fans with 4100 turns per minute are adequately speedy and sturdily built to perform this duty.
For increased ease of use, AUTOOL EMW-508 ARC Welding Machine has an ergonomically built handle which allows you to commute it anywhere with convenience.
Crafted out of cold-rolled steel, this model has an amazing structural strength which adds to its longevity. Its full metal body and the blind hide-all also contributes to heat dissipation.
The package includes a self-explanatory instruction manual, a brush to clean welding splatter, a welding rod holder, a face shield, a ground clamp, and an arc welder.
Buying this portable welder will prove to be a long-term investment as it saves energy by 70 % as compared to a normal welder and its efficiency is 85 % which can be compared with a few top-rated portable welders.
Moreover, this model is designed with digital chip control. These chips are built in the unit and help accomplish the welding task stably, cleanly, and precisely.
Another good, if you have made up your mind to buy this model, is that this unit enjoys a 3-years manufacturer’s warranty-thetime is adequate to familiarize yourself with the machine and use it around your house to perform welding chores.
7. VIVOHOME Portable Flux Core Wire MIG 130 Welder Machine
Manufactured by VivoHome which already has an impressive list of home appliances, ranging from juicers to electric fireplaces, to its credit, Flux Core MIG 130 will shock you with its consistency after a few welding sessions.
It’s designed with those homeowners in mind who want to accomplish a variety of repairs around their home or small DIY tasks but at the same time don’t want to invest plenty of money on a welder.
One of the main attractions of this model is that it has a flux-cored wire which is responsible to release inert metal gas during welding operations. This prevents oxidation as you weld and guarantees that the repair made will be durable.
Another feature that makes it an excellent pick is its four levels of adjustment for current flow. Moreover, its welding speed can be adjusted to 10 different level, which gives you a variable control to handle operations without any hassle.
Run by its 112-V power which translates into 15-amp house breaker, this welder supplies you with high power to weld ¼ inches of steel sheets.
Its outer unit is built with a fine steel body with a black matte finish. You will rarely find it scuffing during the operations. It also throws the rust particles and corrosion away and gives you a decently finished product at the end.
For its total of four current adjustment settings, you have a dial and two switches that can be easily adjusted to your requirements.
Weighing only 30 pounds, it is easy to carry around, without asking for others’ assistance. Its comfortable and ergonomically built handle makes it possible for the user to hold it conveniently and carry it to the site. Its compact size makes it fit easily in a small storage place.
The only weakness I found while reading consumers’ views on various sites is that its wire automatically turns on as you switch the welder on, which can result in a serious burn if you accidentally touch the ignited arc. However, it can be avoided by taking special care with the wire after switching the welder on.
Besides this gripe, VIVOHONE 130 MIG is a reliable welder. You will find its amperage range enough to do all your light-duty welding.
8. Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core
An hour-long use of this welder will help you conclude that it deserves all the praise the reviewers have showered on it on various buying sites. And you will find yourself patting your back for choosing this formidable machine out of the varied range confusing you in the market.
Let’s start from the obvious. It is compact and nimble. The thought behind manufacturing it this way must be to make it more manageable and comfortable for transportation.
The compact size makes it fit into a small space while its lightweight makes it easy to carry around the house and to the welding site.
Unlike most other welders which are either flux-cord or MIG, Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core is a real hybrid machine with the best from both the worlds and packs all the goodness in one place.
Due to its versatile nature, it performs both the operations successfully. Be it a task which is said to be best handled by MIG or the one thought to be perfectly handled by the flux-cored welder, Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core will perform it with detailed precision to your utmost satisfaction.
One more standout feature of this device is that it uses mains electricity which means it will not fluctuate wildly like the welders which use conventional batteries. This feature consequently doesn’t let the welder cause any damage to the machine. Another benefit of using this stable and reliable power source is that it works more efficiently as compared to the other welders.
It comes with a one-year unlimited warranty which is a duration long enough to get yourself along with your device and use it sufficiently.
Its 70-ampere current capacity makes it yield the best results both in routine household repairing chores and mild commercial welding.
9. Mophorn Dual Voltage MMA Arc Welding Machine
In this roundup, Mophorn Arc Welder 20-160Amp is our best budget TIG welder because it has a lot to offer for its reasonable price- we have a 60 % duty cycle, 165-ampere power output, and 120/240 dual voltage.
Quite like Lincoln Electric K2278-1 Handy Core, Mophorn Arc Welder 20-160Amp also offers to choose between TIG or stick welding. Its TIG operating range (20 to 165 amperage)is relatively wider than other welding machines for home use.
Additionally, it offers a hot start and a limitlessly adjustable amperage control.
It can well be used to weld brass, copper, steel, titanium, and stainless steel.
To switch between stick and MIG welding, a switch is located on its top which is made accessible to the operator. All you have to do is to turn the switch to that option and glide seamlessly to your desired welding process.
The package delivers a TIG torch gun, a mask, an instruction manual, one arc electrode holder, a brush, and a clamp.
As for safety, Mophorn Arc Welder 20-160Amp has an indication system that warns the user of over-current, over-heat, and over-voltage.
Moreover, it has a cooling fan which doesn’t let the welded piece oxide and ensure the repair lasts long.
One obvious demerit of Mophorn Arc Welder 20-160Amp is the absence of pedal control. It comes with a fingertip control instead. And much to your distress, it doesn’t accept any external pedal system.
However, given the price, this issue is not a deal-breaker.
But you will surely have to give it a thought before buying this model. Since in the TIG welding process, one hand is already involved in using torchlight and the other is busy feeding the welding rod. An additional hand control would make operations difficult to control and the importance of foot pedal cannot be ignored.
In all, Mophorn Arc Welder 20-160Amp offers smooth welding and has a surprising cost vs. performance value.
10. Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core Wire Welding Machine
If you are a hobbyist or a homeowner looking for some compact portable welding machine to do some chores around your house,Goplus MIG 130 welder is your tool. It is a simple and cost-effective welder that can be a great value for your investment.
While Goplus MIG 130 will perform all the strong and sturdy welds around your house, with its maximum output of 105-amp, it is not an overly powered portable welder. This limits Goplus MIG 130 to fuse only thinner layers of metal. By this, we don’t mean that it cannot weld beyond sheet steel. It can well weld your car too.
Crafted out of premium quality stainless steel, Goplus MIG 130 ensures lasting service. It utilizes a flux cord wired metal inert gas that prevents the repaired part from oxidation and ensures durability.
Another notable feature of Goplus MIG 130 is that it offers four-level adjustments for current flow and ten different levels to adjust wire feeding speed which can be operated with a knob. This gives consumers multiple options to choose from. While working with rigid sheets you would need higher speed. These customizable settings will help you complete your job with impeccable accuracy.
Equipped with Thermal Overload Protection, Goplus MIG 130 helps prevent accidental fires and other hazards. This feature automatically shuts the welding unit down, if the user happens to use it at a stretch for extended hours. It protects you as well as your welding machine from any substantial damage resulting from long duty hours.
Unlike other welding machines, Goplus MIG 130 doesn’t have a built-in torch. However, it offers a torchlight with a power button and the user can switch it on and off as per his needs. This torchlight comes in handy especially in the narrow dark places where preciseness and detailing are important.
Moreover, this torch with a switch also helps the machine consume less energy when you choose to switch it off in the places where bright sunlight reaches the farthest ends of the site you are welding at.
11. Amico ARC-160D, Stick IGBT Inverter DC Welding Soldering
If it is a budget stick portable welding machine you are looking for, Amico ARC-160D will certainly catch your fancy as a quality stick welder is hard to find at a low budget. Although it is not so powerful as it is meant to perform light welding jobs only, it is a perfect stick welder for its cost.
Boasting auto compensation for over-load, over-current, and over and under-voltage fluctuation, Amico ARC-160D best suits the first-time users and DIY enthusiasts.
With its intuitive fan control system, it cools components and reduces the number of contaminants that are pulled during the welding operations.
Among other notable features, ARC-160D has advanced IGBT inverter technology, anti-sticking, steepless amperage control, and hot-start.
With its maximum output of 160 amp, Amico ARC-160D is slightly underpowered for coarse steel sheets. But that’s not what we expect from a light-duty welder. You will find it perfect for auto-repairs and all maintenance welds around the house.
Being an inverter welder, it offers the benefits of the hot start and anti-stick features.
Weighing only 16 lb., Amico ARC-160D is a highly portable stick welder and has the carrying handle plus a shoulder strap, much to the ease of users.
A simple and easy-to eyes interface lets you have a glance at the output amperage your welder is using. It also allows us to constantly gauge overheating and overloading to avoid accidental burns or damage to the machine.
With an impressive 90 % efficiency, which is 5 % above the average efficiency, this tiny and cheap welder surprises its users.
Now, with this surprisingly low price, when you start searching for the low-quality components you will stop at the ground clamp, which, I believe, will begin losing its conductivity over time, more quickly if you usually use your welder at a high amperage.
However, it is okay for your current use. Moreover, the cables providing electric supply to the clamp and electrode holder appear to be of good quality and are built in a comfortable length of 10”.
In all, if you are looking for something best balancing quality and price, you don’t need to look beyond this smart welder.
12. ZENY Arc Welding Machine DC Inverter Dual Voltage
Although, a newbie in the welding industry, ZENSTYLE Arc earned a good name for itself in a short period.
True to its manufacturer’s claim, ZENSTYLE Arc Welding Machine is a welder you can trust for all your home repair projects.
The inclusion of some excellent features made it the best value for your investment. It’s a dual input voltage inverter welder which has a maximum output of 160A.
This model is identical to Amico in its color and features which is reviewed above. However, Zeny is more reasonably priced. This is the reason that Zeny becomes the first choice of many bargain hunters.
However, this difference in price show itself in efficiency-which can be called the only difference in the otherwise point to point matching welders. You may call ZENY only 5 % lower inefficiency which is a minor difference and still stands with the efficiency rate (85 %) of other cheaper inverters in the market.
With almost the similar duty cycles as Amico, ZENY runs 60% at 160-amp, consuming 230V.
Its output amperage can be adjustable to 5 points ranging from 5A to the maximum of 160A and can be controlled with the help of an easy to use dial.
Equipped with the necessary safety functions such as automatic shutdown at overheating, overloading, and over current, ZENY is user friendly just like Amico.
Moreover, its digital interface for output controls is also all the same.
You will also notice the similarity in the cables, the clamp which helps it support on the ground and the electrode holder. However, the material used in Amico is of slightly better quality.
To make it the best portable machine, ZENY has limited its weight to 18 pounds only. An additional carrying handle and a soft shoulder strap make its transportation more convenient.
In sum, if you have a limited budget but want to enjoy all the modern specs in your newly bought welder, I would highly recommend you buy ZENY as it qualifies all the normal parameters of a good portable welder in cheap price.
Factors to Consider While Buying the Best Portable Welding Machine
Besides price comparison, there isa slew of things to consider before hitting the buy button for your portable welding machine. Read on to find our seven well-thought-of factors to consider before buying a portable welding machine for you.
The portable welding machine you choose must be capable of performing the task you purchased it for. The level of your welder’s performance heavily depends on your requirements.
Put simply, some users need to perform basic repairs while others require their machines to do heavy applications. For instance, if you are a homeowner, you would only want your portable welder to perform basic repairs. Therefore, a model with a 100-W capacity would suffice your need.
However, if you are a professional welder or a DIY enthusiast who likes to do most of the repair and installation at home, you would go for a more powerful portable welder.
- Size and Design
Precisely, the best portable welding machine is light in weight, compact in design, and brilliant in its performance.
Fortunately, in our 12 Best Portable Welding Machines guide, we have reviewed many such models that combine all these three features. They can be a no-brainer for many.
Moreover, choosing a compact-sized model makes it easy for you to carry your machine wherever you need to work with it. Also, its compact size allows you to work in confined places
where large-sized models do not reach
It’s highly recommended to choose something which is ergonomically built. By this, we mean a machine that is specially designed while keeping the ease of use in mind. User-friendly portable welding machines have ergonomic handles which make it easy for you to control the machine during operations. These designs allow you to work for longer hours with no fatigue at the end of the day.
Welding, undoubtedly, is a fun activity but remember it can turn into something extremely dangerous in no time. Hence, you must make sure the welder you are buying has maximum safety features.
Safety should become the most important feature for those who are going to weld first time on their own. If you too are the first-time buyer, you are highly recommended to go for any 110V welders reviewed above. Their inherent electrical potential is quite low, and they do not electrode as quickly as others with relatively higher potential.
Also, make sure, the machine you are buying must have the features to protect itself from burning and over-heating.
To curtail electricity consumption, you should consider buying the welder with multi-amp settings. This means you can customize the amount of heat produced by your welder according to the nature of the piece you want to weld. You would not need the same amount of heat on every material. This helps you reduce the amount of power being consumed when welding thinner layers and ultimately save energy. Such welders prove to be economical buy in the long run.
- Power Outlets
Since most homes have 110V power outlets, make sure the welder you buy also has the same voltage.
- Power Cycle
It affects the duration and speed of operations.
Precisely, if the power of your welder is somewhere around 120 amps and a cycle around 20 %, you will be able to use it for three minutes at a stretch before putting it to rest for seven to eight minutes.
While it is important to choose the model that fits your budget, it is equally pertinent to ensure you are choosing a machine that lasts longer and delivers the level of performance you need.
Let’s understand it this way. Buying a splendid but cheaper villa 50 miles from your office may appear to be a bewildering option now as compared to a small but relatively expensive apartment in the vicinity of your workplace.
However, the amount of fuel your car will burn only for the first month for daily commuting will prove that the latter was a long-term investment.
So, spending a few extra bucks out of your budget may save you from the trouble of investing in your machine repair now and then or maybe compromising on your safety and ease of use.
- MIG, TIG, or Stick?
Determining which process of welding you require heavily depends on the material to be welded.
Let’s consider the pros and cons of the three main welding processes
Since it uses a spool gun to feed electrodes that react with the metal, it causes a huge amount of heat. Therefore, it is highly advisable to use these machines in an open area.
When used in an open space, the chances of contamination by dust particles and other agents multiply. Which means the welded part can be substantially damaged.
However, to keep the damage to its minimum, a shield is provided which does not let the particles enter the arc.
MIG is a versatile welding process that welds a variety of metals with excellence.
Quite like MIG, TIG is also great for various materials and is used in open spaces. The only difference it has with MIG welding is that TIG is good for thinner materials because it uses a tungsten electrode for heating metals. This heat is good enough to liquefy solid metals.
This process does heavy-duty welding and best suits to weld thick metals which cannot be handled by MIG or TIG processes.
Now when you have learned about different welding processes, their potential, and scope, you are advised to seek 110V welder that perfectly fits your home welding requirements. As a professional, you may go for a stick welder.