What Size MIG Welder Do I Need?

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The MIG welder is an essential device for fusing metal. It’s crucial to remember that the size of a MIG welder must be appropriate for the task at hand. It cannot be easy to pick the proper size MIG welder. You must consider a variety of factors, which we shall address today. MIG welding is a versatile technology for joining complex metals such as stainless steel and aluminum alloys. Choosing the correct MIG welding machine, on the other hand, can be difficult because there is so much to consider when purchasing.

So, what size MIG welder do I need? It depends on the area you want to work in and the available outlet. If you need to use for the household welding sheet averagely, you need a 120V MIG welder that is enough. But if you want to use it for the industrial, you need more power for the task.

What Factors Should You Consider When Determining a MIG Welder Size?

What Factors Should You Consider When Determining A MIG Welder Size?

  • Material Thickness

Another important consideration is the material’s thickness. Is it necessary for you to build a metal sculpture? Is your motorcycle in need of some customizing? Is it time to repair your steel fence? Or are you planning on improving your farm machinery?

The thickness of the material will be different for each of these jobs. As a result, the ideal size MIG welder can easily handle the material thickness. If you wish to weld for long periods, it is recommended that you purchase a machine that is 30% more powerful.

  • How many amps – Maximum?

The first step is to determine what you’ll weld and how often you’ll weld it. Here’s my best guess at what each hobby-sized welder can accomplish. Manufacturer claims vary, but they usually claim to be able to weld excessively thick thicknesses. Instead of listening to what they have to say, use the following chart:

The MIG Calculator can help you figure out what your welder will do.

The 90 amp thickness challenge includes an example of a V and root gap, as well as an edge-to-edge butt weld.

  • How many amps – Minimum?

Remember to include the minimum amps in your calculations. Most smaller MIG welders have a minimum of 30 amps, sufficient for a 1.0mm sheet and, with care and expertise, for 0.8mm steel (see welding thin metal). Some welders have a minimum current of 20 or 25 amps, which would be more suitable for 0.8mm steel.

Any welder with a minimum of more than 30 amps (often only very inexpensive or powerful welders) would be unsuitable on vehicle bodywork.

  • Workshop power supply

Any electronic system relies on power, and the power supply is what keeps it running. Choosing the correct source can be the difference between a gadget that performs at its best and produces inconsistent results.

DC to DC converters is available and alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC) power sources. If your system already has DC, a DC to DC converter may be a better design option than the AC mentioned below.

There are two types of direct current power supplies: unregulated and regulated. There are various types of regulated supply, including linear, switching, and battery-based.

A power supply takes AC from a wall outlet, converts it to unregulated DC, and then steps it down to the voltage required by the load using an input power transformer. The transformer also separates the output power supply from the mains input for safety reasons.

  • Avoid permanently live torches!

The manufacturer saves a few pennies by not including a contactor in the welder. When the trigger is depressed, the contactor switches the electricity supply to the torch. The torch is always on without the contactor, so if you touch anything while setting the torch, you’ll get an arc eye.

I didn’t believe anyone created this kind of nonsense anymore, but Wolf Welders does. Why avoid live wire feed is an excellent read from a forum debate. Please post on the forum to uncover any other models with a permanently live wire feed, and I’ll update this page to warn potential buyers.

The permanently live torch will not be mentioned in the manufacturer’s documentation, so ask before buying.

  • Quality

As more MIG welders are manufactured in Eastern Europe and China, the quality of MIG welders (along with their cost) continues to deteriorate. Because they have better electronics and wire feed systems, expensive MIGs are more forgiving to use than low-end welders. The functionality of cheaper welders has been compromised as a result of the cost-cutting.

One of the advantages of a little more expensive welder is that the wire feed control adjusts automatically to match the power. The wire speed knob on these is merely a fine control that doesn’t need fussing with when changing power settings. You won’t be sorry if you can afford one with that functionality. A good-sized wire feed motor and a quality wire feed mechanism are also features of exceptional items. Much more than the other parts and pieces inside the machine, a good wire feed is essential for smooth welding.

  • Duty cycle

This is the percentage of time you can weld in a 5 or 10 minute period (depending on the manufacturer) before the welder overheats. For example, if a welder has a 60 percent duty cycle at 100 amps over 10 minutes, it can operate at 100 amps continuously for 6 minutes before needing a 4-minute break.

Because the amps are typically low (more excellent duty cycle at lower amps) and 9 minutes out of 10 are usually spent setting up, any welder with fan cooling should have a perfectly adequate duty cycle for car repair work. It would be a significant consideration for a fabrication firm that spends all day welding steel beams together.

Smaller welders without fans (non-turbo welders) will have a shallow duty cycle while running at full power, and owners say that the thermal cutouts can be bothersome, even for auto repairs.

In general, welders get more sociable as they grow more expensive, and the £200 to £500 hobby to semi-professional market has a lot of options.

  • Which Manufacturer?

Indeed, all hobby welders are made in Italy by Telwin and are identical?

Not in the least. Welders are produced in a variety of countries. The brand can still give you a hint. A good brand might choose to create their welder in Eastern Europe, Mexico, or even China. Suppose the brand has specified the design, determined the component specifications, and has adequate quality control. In that case, these brands may be able to provide you with a comparable product at a lower cost. If they haven’t done so, their brand will begin to suffer. Before you buy, post a question on the forum.

  • The Welder Chassis

The MIG welder is contained in the chassis, which is made up of a case and wheels. The important things to consider are whether it has wheels – make anything more significant than the tiny hobby welder much simpler to move about, and whether it has a shelf on the rear for a decent gas bottle. Most sub-150 amp welders don’t come with a gas bottle shelf these days, but a DIY frame can usually be created and bolted on.

Making a welder trolly can be a terrific first welding project, so the chassis isn’t a big deal.

  • Gas vs Gasless

To keep oxygen out of the weld, MIG requires a shielding gas. Gas shielded wire (oxygen is displaced by an inert or semi-inert (active) gas mix in a container), and flux-cored wire is two options (where a protective covering is produced by a compound included in the wire itself). Each style of welding has advantages and cons, but gas shielded welding is by far the nicer to use, so unless you know you’ll only be welding with flux-cored wire, it’s best to have a welder that can perform both or gas-shielded the only welder.

With gas shielding, things become a lot easier. The weld pool is visible, the welds are neater, and there are fewer spatters. The cost of gas for occasional users and the need for wind shielding if welding outside is downsides.

  • Your level of Experience

A beginner cannot afford to purchase a heavy-duty machine like the Miller 252 or Hobart Ironman 230 for a few thousand dollars in most circumstances. Almost certainly, you would never use the equipment to its full extent. A modest 120 volt MIG is sufficient for sheet metal practice for a beginner.

Questions to Ask Before You Purchase a MIG Welding Machine

What type of work you want to do?

The size of a MIG welder is governed by many factors, including the power output, material thickness, kind of material, and your level of experience. All of this comes together to define what type of work you’ll be doing with your MIG welder. The following is a full breakdown of each factor.

What process best fits your needs?

The purpose of quality planning is to create a process that will satisfy predetermined objectives under normal operating conditions. When a problem demonstrates one or more of the following qualities, quality planning is an approach that can be used: There has never been a service like this before.

How Many Amps Do You Need For a MIG Welder?

On average, 115-volt welders require 140 amps to weld up to 14” thick steel, while 220-volt welders require roughly 200 amps to weld up to 12” thick material.

How Many Amps Can You Afford?

When buying a welding machine, it’s a good idea to invest a little more in acquiring a giant machine than you think you’ll need and ensure that it’s a high-quality piece of equipment that will last a long time.

At the same time, spending a lot of money on the biggest and best equipment won’t help you if you’ll never use half of the power or features that come with it.

Why Higher Amperage Matters?

After going through the various aspects that influence the decision, it’s time to look at why higher amperage is essential in the first place. Higher amperes are often easier to work with, even if you don’t want to do so.

There are various advantages to employing greater amperages, the most obvious of which is that greater amperage equals more alternatives.

The wider your variety of welding possibilities, the more heat, and power you can generate, which is always good.

Furthermore, the quantity of personal effort and strength you can devote to the job is limited.

What factors should you consider when determining a budget?

Your personality:

This component is intertwined with a few of the others discussed previously. Knowing yourself and playing to your strengths are the most important things you can do.

You’re tech-savvy

Your level of comfort with technology will also determine the tangible manifestation of your budget.

Do you prefer to bank on the internet, over the phone, or in person? If you bank online, you can download, print, or examine your transactions at any time of day or night, and you can usually link them to a budgeting program such as Quicken.

Structure of our Profits:

When it comes to cash flow planning, the method by which money enters your income statement is crucial.

What if you only have 120V household power output?

A 120V MIG welder can be purchased if you only have 120V domestic power. This MIG welder is suitable for light welding and thin metals in the home. It’s vital to remember that 120V power output is only suitable for basic welding tasks. With this much power, it’s impossible to weld heavier, thicker metals.

Are Their Welders Operate at 100% Duty Cycle?

A 100% duty cycle merely means that the compressor will maintain a constant CFM and PSI during its operation instead of running constantly. Even though they are rated at 100 percent duty cycle, a piston-type compressor must eventually stop and cool down.

How big of a breaker do you need for your welder?

The correct answer is to depends on the work requirement. You will need to have a 30-40 amp breaker for time-saving for the heavy-duty job. High amperage ensures the power has a quick outcome.

What type of outlets do you need?

15-amp duplex receptacles are the most popular electrical outlets; 15-amp outlets are designed to accept standard plugs for most small appliances and lamps. Switch off the electricity to the outlet and remove it if it has to be replaced. I turn off the outlet for removal.


The best MIG welder for the job is one that is tailored to your specific needs. If you’re a skilled welder with a lot of expertise, you might be able to get work doing more heavy-duty work. If you’re new to welding, though, it’s best to start with more simple MIG welders. Gradually, you’ll be able to go up in size. This article I strongly suggest for you to read.

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