10 Best Budget Welders (Cheap TIG, MIG, STICK Welders)


best-cheap-budget-welders

Are you looking for the best budget welders out there?

Look no more we got you covered.

It is fair to say that welding has the potential to be one of the funnest hobbies you take up during this time of lockdowns and quarantines.

For some, this spate of free time has been a classic “Be careful what you wish for” story, while for others it may prove more nightmarish and potentially lethal.

But for those of us lucky enough to be sitting around with time on our hands and money in our pockets, welding is a great way to remain productive, satisfy your own innate desire toward self-realization through creative activities, and who doesn’t love learning a new skill?

That doesn’t mean that this new skill will come inexpensive, however. Whether you’re a newbie or an old hand at welding, there’s no denying that certain machines can prove to be quite costly.

Top tier MIG and TIG welders can easily cost thousands of dollars, and that isn’t even getting into how much it can cost to replace consumables and equipment, let alone raw metal, as you use them up.

But surely there’s a better, more budget-friendly way.

Well, maybe there is – if you know what to look for.

So, how can you find a quality inexpensive welder, what features can you expect it to have, and what are some of the top budget welders on the market today?

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

In a Rush? Here you can find our Overall #1 Rated Pick.

The Forney Easy Weld 271 Welder is the best cheap welder we´ve found.

Best Value
Forney Easy Weld 271 MIG Welder
  • High quality
  • MIG and TIG capability
  • Simple to use
  • Low price
Check Today´s price (Amazon.com)

Purchase: I really like the Forney Easy Weld 271 Welder. It’s not terribly expensive but gets amazing reviews. If you are interested in this, then just follow the link to Amazon where you can see current pricing.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at what makes a good budget welder, 10 of the best inexpensive welders on the market, and how you can choose which one is right for you.

Top 10 Best Budget Welders

Short on time? Take a look at my top 10 Best budget welders:

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Perfect Welds

1. Forney Easy Weld 271

2. Lotos TIG200ACDC

3. Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process

4. Hyperikon 3-in-1 TIGHyperikon Welder

5. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG DC Welder

6. Campbell Hausfeld FLX140 MIG Welder

7. Amico TIG 160 Torch Stick Welder

8. C.M.T Pitbull 100-Amp Electric Arc Welder

9. XtremepowerUS MIG 130 Welder

10. Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130

Balancing Budget Versus Performance

All of this brings us to the big question – why are you purchasing a welder in the first place? Chances are, if you are looking for a budget option, you are not doing so for professional work.

Even within the realm of hobby and DIY work, however, there’s a split between those who already know how to weld and want an affordable unit for home projects and those who are looking to learn the craft for the first time.

This split, as demonstrated with the options below, can make a big difference in whether or not a model appeals to you.

If you are experienced, you may be willing to pay a bit more for added features you know how to use and better performance.

If you are just starting out, on the other hand, a more stripped down version with a budget to match can often be the best choice.

With that in mind and without further ado, let’s take a look at 10 of the best cheap welder options on the market today.

1. Forney Easy Weld 271

Best Value
Forney Easy Weld 271 MIG Welder
  • High quality
  • MIG and TIG capability
  • Simple to use
  • Low price
Check Today´s price (Amazon.com)

If you have read reviews of welders before, there is a fair chance you may have come across the Forney brand in general and this model in particular.

Forney is by far one of the most established names on the market, so if the security of brand name recognition matters in your budget buying process, you can’t do much better than Forney.

The Easy Weld 271 in particular is noted for being one of the most affordable, accessible, and versatile welders on the market, especially for newcomers to the craft.

So, what makes this model so special?

✔️ Let’s start with the price – at around $420, it is a reasonably priced option for a quality welder, let alone one that can take on as many tasks as you can with the Easy Weld 271.

This model is another 3 in 1 option, allowing you MIG, TIG, and Stick options. Remember that the TIG-centric option above from Lotos is nearly $200 more than this one and that the Easy Weld allows Stick welding as well as MIG and TIG.

Are you starting to see why this is one of the best-regarded budget options on the market?

✔️ If not, continue on toward the features themselves, starting with the fact that this model offers three different switch positions for changing between different elements of the welding process.

On the one hand, this enables you to retain some degree of control over the procedure. On the other hand, it also streamlines things, so if you’re a total newcomer to the wide world of welding, you shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed.

This model has an output voltage range of between 12 and 23v, which puts it well within the realm of what can work with a typical home setup.

✔️What’s more, this unit is about 25 lbs and features a metal case.

While this is a very minor thing, it does mean that the unit is portable enough to take with you if you please (which is definitely not true of the Lotos behemoth), while the metal case can take a bit of a beating and keep your welder in solid shape.

In short, this is a model well worth Forney’s well-earned reputation and is easily one of the best cheap welder choices on this list and the market at large.

2. Lotos TIG200ACDC

Our pick
Lotos TIG200ACDC 200A AC/DC

+ Easy to start arc

+ Includes foot pedal

+ Excellent beginner torch

+ Simple to use

Check Availability On Amazon

Once upon a time, it would have been laughable to see a TIG welder on a list of budget welding options. TIG welders tend to be among the most expensive options, as mentioned above, and for a long time it would have been preposterous to suggest on a budget list.

✔️ Yet here we are with this offering from Lotos. To suggest a $600 welder as “cheap” may seem absurd to some, but with that added context you can see why, for a TIG welder, it is a bargain.

At the same time, it is definitely on the hefty side at 58 lbs, so don’t expect to take this TIG welder with you wherever you go. This unit is more or less strictly for home use. It also does not come with a MIG setting.

Some of the other models on this list have combo options, so if that’s what interests you, keep looking.

However, as far as a strictly TIG welder goes, this isn’t a bad option. This option has both AC and DC options, and allows you to switch between these options with ease.

What’s more, this option allows you to weld aluminum easily, which is a huge benefit given that this is by far one of the most popular types.

✔️ Another benefit of this kind of versatility is that it allows you to work with metal of all different thicknesses.

From statues to joints to entire structures and everything in between, a welder like this can take on light or thin stainless steel as well as heavier, thicker options.

✔️ In addition, this is also one of the easiest TIG welders to use. It comes with an easy to use foot pedal, which allows you to change the temperature of the arc quickly.

While it does not have as many features as other TIG models, this is part of the device’s overall trend toward a more streamlined design.

3. Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process

Best Overall
Weldpro 200 Multi-Process - 3 In 1 Welder (MIG/TIG/STICK)

+ Machine determines complex settings

+ Automatic welding switch

+ Easy to set up and use

+ Excellent for beginners

Check Availability On Amazon

✔️ Here we have another model that offers you both MIG and TIG options. The technology included for both of these options is reasonably advanced for this price range (around $700).

If you are looking for a model that does not dumb things down for you while still keeping everything accessible enough to learn the Weldpro isn’t a bad choice at all.

That said, $700 is hitting the ceiling of what we might call a “budget” option.

While it isn’t four figure territory, it is still far more expensive than the Easy Weld 271 and some of the other options on this list.

Where the “budget” element really comes in, therefore, is in the fact that the TIG and MIG technology included in this model typically goes for far more.

As such, this is a model that can do more for less.

✔️ This model also boasts a synergic core and overall setup that makes it easy to switch between different welding options.

It also comes with several preset internal parameters for your convenience. This makes it way easier to balance your voltage and amperage as well as deal with all of the wire feeding issues that are necessary for MIG and TIG welding.

Simply turn it on, choose the basic settings that fit what you want to do, and away you go.

At 30 lbs, it isn’t light enough to be easily portable, but it’s not a complete beast either. If you really want to put in the effort, you can move it from one site to another without it becoming a total schlep.

Seven hundred dollars isn’t “cheap,” but this is definitely a lot more affordable than similar welders that boast this range of features.

Think of this model as more of a “cheap” high-end long-term option. If you are sure that you already like welding and want something that can allow you to expand your skills without breaking the bank, this can indeed pay off several times over.

4. Hyperikon 3-in-1 TIGHyperikon 3 in 1 TIG Welder

Hyperikon Plasma Cutter, 3 in 1 welder

+ This portable plasma cutter/welder comes with a PT-31 cutting torch, TIG-17 torch for tig welding, and stick holder for up to 5mm welding rod.

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

✔️ Three in one capability. A plasma cutter, an inverter, and 120v and 240 voltage capabilities, all while offering MIG and TIG welding ability.

You get quite a lot with this pack, and you can, thus, do quite a lot with it as well, from welding smaller pieces to taking on vast projects.

The higher voltage helps in large part with this, though 240v is far more than your average home outlet can take, so you’ll need to buy an adapter.

Plasma cutters in particular tend to be pricey, so if you’re looking for a budget option for that in particular, this would be a good option to consider.

✔️ On the one hand, the TIG settings on this model are far more basic than the Lotos and Weldpro 200. On the other hand, it still gets the job done, and at just under $500, it is less expensive than either of them.

What’s more, this model features a more streamlined interface, so if you are looking for an easier machine on which to learn, this may be the model for you.

✔️ The Hyperikon’s starting torch is both high-frequency and non-touch. To start welding, you just need to press the corresponding torch button once the tip is close enough to the metal.

This kind of torch is incredibly easy to use, and for some welders, that alone will make this model practically priceless.

That isn’t to say that the model doesn’t have its drawbacks. It does not come with a foot pedal, and you are not able to weld aluminum with it.

That said, you can always buy your own foot pedal later, and it can still take on quite a bit, even if that one commonly used metal eludes it.

This isn’t necessarily the top TIG welder-wise, but if you’re looking for that and a plasma cutter at a reasonable price, this option is hard to beat.

5. SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG DC Welder

SUNGOLDPOWER 200Amp MIG

+ Multifunction:110V/220V Dual Voltage DC IGBT Inverter welder, MIG/MAG/ARC/MMA multifunction Welder

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

This option is interesting in part because it combines a lot of different elements discussed above while managing to be in the middle of a lot of them yet carving out its own identity.

For example, this model weighs in at 44 lbs – not nearly as heavy as we’ve seen these units can get, but still not easily portable.

✔️ Conversely, this model scores quite well pricewise at just over $350. What’s more, there is an even more simplified and streamlined version of this unit that costs closer to $200.

Either way you slice it, this is by far one of the most affordable budget welders on this list.

✔️ Another nice thing about this model is the fact that it can weld thicknesses with power ranging up to 200 amps.

What’s more, it can weld steel, aluminum, and everything in between, so if you’re looking for an affordable versatile option, it’s hard to do much better than this one.

That said, you may want to spend some of that leftover money on a spare aluminum spool gun.

✔️ There are a couple quick cons to note about this model. For one thing, its leads are a bit short, so if that bothers you, it may be pertinent to consider other options.

More frustratingly, the instruction manual for how to operate this model is somewhat lacking.

If you are a newbie in particular, this is not the kind of vague, confusing instruction manual on which to learn.

That said, it’s the Age of the Internet, after all, so you can always find other, better directions online and still take advantage of the great pricing and some of the finer features offered by this model.

6. Campbell Hausfeld FLX140 MIG Welder

Campbell Hausfeld FLX140 MIG Welder

+ 5 heat settings to match metal thickness up to ¼ inch

+ Duty cycle: 20% @ 90A, output 140A. Weld and ground cable length: 10 feet

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

Here we have another model that comes with a heavy-duty case, so if that matters to you, this model can definitely take a beating.

This exterior shell is a mixture of powdered steel and plastic, making it incredibly durable.

✔️ As for the model’s performance, it is pretty easy to use, and yet still boasts five different heat settings, so you can still enjoy some variety in terms of how you choose to use the machine.

While it isn’t good for aluminum welding right out of the box, a few “creative adjustments” on your part can easily adapt it for that purpose. In terms of the price, you’re once again looking at something pretty affordable at around $350.

You can only adjust so much within the amperage range itself, but still, this model offers a fair amount for that lower price.

7. Amico TIG 160 Torch Stick Welder

Amico TIG160 ARC Stick Welder

+ Dual Voltage Input (110V/230V)

+ Multifunction: TIG / STICK / ARC 2-in-1 Welder

+ Powerful welder capable of welding up to 3/8″ Stainless steel

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

Here, the classic question of Price versus Performance comes into full focus. Viewed from the former standpoint, this model is practically unbeatable at just around $250.

Viewed in the latter light, this model is beaten out by many options on this list that boast far more settings and possibilities.

✔️ This model does not allow a high-frequency arc starting option, which is one of the favorite ways among welders to ignite the process.

That said, it allows for lift-starting, so if you’re fine with that, you should be fine with this. The controls are quite streamlined, which either means you have very little variety or very little to worry about while you learn, again, depending on your perspective.

✔️ This model has a hard time handling thin stainless steel sheet metal, though it should be fine for larger, more standard sizes. However, it does not allow for aluminum welding at all.

It’s thus all about what you want in a machine. If you’re looking for something to learn on (especially for a TIG machine, and yes, the fact one is this inexpensive is a minor miracle), this may be a good choice.

If you’re looking for something with a bit more meat rather than a barebones offering, you may want to consider some of the options above and below.

8. C.M.T Pitbull 100-Amp Electric Arc Welder

This is one of those models that likes to give away everything about it in the title itself.

Yes, this model is indeed ultra-portable, weighing in at just around 28 lbs. Yes, it also offers 110v, making it easily compatible with your home outlet.

Is there anything else to say about this model?

✔️ Well, yes actually. The model is by far the least expensive on this list at around $125. That said, it’s also the “cheapest” insofar as it is also by far the least powerful.

You get what you pay for, and this little model really can’t or, in fairness, shouldn’t be expected to do much more than easy small-scale welding tasks.

However, that might be just the thing to get you into welding at an incredibly low price. As long as you know what you’re getting, you may well be pleased with what this little inexpensive “Pitbull” of a welder has to offer.

9. XtremepowerUS MIG 130 Welder

MIG Gas-Less Flux Core Wire Welder

+ Perfect for welding normal thin steel and iron, perfect for home DIY and general repairing work. Mini size but also practical, it will obtain a professional finish in welding. 

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

By contrast, this model doesn’t betray all of its secrets in the title. For starters, rejoice flux core welders – we’ve finally come to an option that’s compatible with that method. If that is the specific form of welding that you are looking to pursue, this may well be the budget welder for you.

✔️ Besides that, as you can see from the title, this model is a MIG welder. Weighing a bit more than 36 lbs, it’s another classic home unit that can be taken on the road if absolutely necessary, even if it isn’t designed to be a “portable” unit per se.

On the other hand, this is definitely one of the least burdensome options moneywise at around $135. What’s more, it is highly compact, making this one of the easiest models to store between uses, if that’s indeed what you need to do rather than simply leave it out on a workbench.

✔️ This model features four separate levels of flow settings, each of which allow you to operate the machine in a different manner.

On top of that, you are able to make use of 10 different levels of wire feeding speeds and a rotary knob for adjustments.

For the price range, that is an incredible array of choices to put at your disposal, all without making the machine too overwhelming.

The speed option in particular is nice for beginning welders who don’t want to worry about having to keep up with a faster pace of work.

✔️ All of this makes this model one of the most convenient models to use for beginners in particular.

Its price point makes it very accessible for those who are looking to learn and grow on a machine that lets you do a lot with a little before expanding past that beginning point.

10. Super Deal PRO Commercial MIG 130

Super Deal PRO MIG 130 AC

+ Variable Feed Speed Control

+ Compact and powerful

+ Cored wire, self release metal-inert gas while welding

Check Today´s Price (Amazon.com)

At just around $130, this is yet another one of the most affordable options on the list.

Unlike the little Pitbull, however, which is more underpowered than you might expect for such a potentially-powerful dog, this model has a better chance of living up to its namesake of being a “super deal.”

✔️ As you can see with the model name, we are once again dealing with a MIG welder. The exterior is made from high-quality PVC plastic, so it’s pretty durable.

The torch itself is pretty easy and comfortable to grip, making it that much easier to use. You are able to adjust the flow via four different buttons, and also enjoy control over the wire feed speed.

Once again, there are 10 different settings, and once again, you have a rotary knob to help you control everything.

The interface is reasonably easy to use, making this yet another good option for beginners.

The unit itself weighs in at around 38 lbs – not easily moved if you need it to be portable, but doable.

Finally, this is another flux core option, so if that’s your primary consideration when looking at these different models, this and the XtremepowerUS are the options for you.

What to Look for in a Welder: MIG, TIG, Flux, and Stick

Before we get into what makes for the best cheap welder, it’s worth taking a moment for a quick rundown of what MIG, TIG, Flux, and Stick welders all offer.

MIG welding is the most common form of welding today. It makes use of superheated electricity to create an arc that is, in turn, sprayed from the nozzle onto the metal, allowing you to melt the metal.

TIG welding is more complicated, typically requires more effort, and often requires more expensive welders (though we’ll get to a few that buck that trend).

While MIG welding can cover several different types of metals, TIG welding is especially good at welding steel.

Stick welding is far more direct insofar as it involves pressing the nozzle far closer to the molten metal itself. These also trend toward the more expensive and harder to control side of the spectrum.

All of these require shielding gas, which involves mixing different gasses in such a way as to interact with your arc and create the effect you want on the metal without damaging it or harming yourself.

Finally, there are flux core welders, which buck that trend. They do not require shielding gas to work and often make use of automatic feeders, which allow the materials you’re using to be fed directly into the machinery in such a way as to allow the welding to work.

On the one hand, this gives you less control, but on the other hand, it also relieves you of a lot of responsibility of looking after the many controls that can come with MIG and especially TIG and Stick welders.

What’s more, a lack of gasses means that flux core is a good option for welding outside.

Best Cheap Welders FAQs

Let’s close out this page about budget welders with answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions about them!

After all that, you may be left with a few common questions, such as:

1. Which Type of Welder Is Right for Me Budget-Wise?

TIG welders are definitely at the higher end of the spectrum in terms where overall price is concerned, and that is reflected in the options on this list.

MIG and, as evidenced by the XtremepowerUS and Super Deal Pro, flux core welders are a lot more affordable. Both of those models, with their sub-$200 price, are easily among the best options budget-wise.

On the whole, flux core is itself a lot more affordable in part because it allows you to cut out the need for shielding gasses altogether.

That said, they are obviously limited, so if you expect to be welding for the long-term, a combination flux core and MIG option such as these are a better way to go.

However, both of those options are for flux core and MIG beginners.

2. What Type of Welder Is Right for Advanced Welders?

What if you’re a bit more experienced and want something that won’t break the bank but still allows you a bit more variety?

In that case, you’ll want to look at some of the options in the higher echelon of this budget list. The Easy Weld 271 is not that expensive at all for someone looking for a high-quality intermediate-and-up welder.

The Weldpro 200 is more expensive than that, but might work if you are interested in the features it has to offer. The Hyperikon is an interesting case.

On the one hand, it is far from the top TIG welder on this list in terms of either performance or price.

On the other hand, $500 isn’t expensive at all for a decent TIG welder, and especially one that boasts a built-in plasma cutter. These are often far more expensive, making it one of your best bets to get one at a low price.

3. What Features Matter Most?

This is obviously a subjective question, but it can be greatly shaped by what you’re looking for in a cheap welder in the first place.

If you are looking for a model that is streamlined and easy to use, you want to go with options that limit the amount of controls present and automates more features.

This makes it far easier for learners to get the hang of welding without having to worry about a million dials. Of course, if you are an experienced welder, the opposite is true, and you probably want more control.

If you are planning on welding outside, shielding gas is out and you’ll want to focus on the XtremepowerUS and Super Deal Pro as flux core options.

If you care most about raw power, the Hyperikon offers a fair amount of it at 240v, and it also comes with the aforementioned plasma cutter.

What if you are looking to take your budget welder on the road? The Easy Weld 271, Weldpro, and Pitbull are all among the lightest options on this list, making them the easiest to move from site to site without breaking a sweat.

You shouldn’t have to sweat the price to enjoy welding, which is what makes this list so important.

The more affordable welders are, the more accessible they are, thus, allowing more people to experience them for the first time or explore their creativity.

These welders may not be that inexpensive, but they’re a great step toward those who want to show off their creative side without having to pay a fortune.

David Harper

David is the Co-Founder and Senior Editor at weldingtroop.com. David's an experienced fitter and tuner/welder who's passionate about helping others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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