The Arksen MIG-130 is a popular welder on Amazon and on other online stores was unavailable for a while. Is now Back!
This welder is undoubtedly aimed at the price competitive end of the flux core market and for those on a budget who want a cheap 110 volt welder for those light duty welding jobs.
Supplied with flux core welding wire, a hand held face shield and a combined chipping hammer and brush it is positioned to be attractive to those beginner welders looking for a welding kit to get them started.
If you do happen to be a welder with some experience then read on, you may well see yourself getting a nice tune out of this Arksen MIG-130 Gasless Flux Core wire welder.
Arksen MIG 130
- The Arksen MIG-130 is toward the lower price point of a flux core welder, hence it is a very popular model
- For those wanting a light duty, budget sensitive welder and in that space it is a very reasonable choice
- Thermal overheat protection a nice feature
- The Arksen is also reasonably portable
- Best for light welding tasks with its modest duty cycle rating
- Lack of a decent manual or settings chart is a definite minus for beginners
- The helmet and hand tool that comes with the box is light weight and barely fit for purpose
All in all, this is a good welder, as it offers a good range of versatility and ease of use for those with limited cash. If you want a cheap welder to learn your skills on or just use for those occasional welding jobs around the home and yard then this welder could be for you.
Buy with decent flux core welding wire for mild steel and invest in a good welding helmet, chipping hammer and brush and your initial irritation with the supplied tools will simply float away.
Arksen MIG 130 vs Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130
Arksen MIG 130
Super Deal MIG 130
10 at 105 Amp
10 at 105 Amp
50 to 120 Amp
50 to 120 Amp
Mild Steel Only
Mild Steel Only
19L x 17 H x 11 D inches
13.5 L x 14 H x 7.5 D inches
I felt it would be interesting for you to see the Arksen compared to another 130 Amp MIG welder, which is direct competition in the entry level welder marketplace.
The Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130 is also made in China and looks spookily like the Arksen MIG-130 except for the yellow cover.
As does the Zeny MIG 130, Goplus MIG 130, and the FDS MIG 130, find out why later on in this post.
YouTube Video on the Arksen MIG 130 Welder
I found this fun YouTube video from Luke Fugate describing his experience with the Arksen Welder. He has some nice tips on a good use for the hand held face mask that comes with the welder. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
A Look at My Flux Core Welder
Video Credit: Luke Fugate
Arksen 130 MIG Welder Review
It is a popular best selling welder for those looking for an entry level model.
For a beginner, this welder though capable is lacking in some important set up information which I'll point out later on in this article.
If you are a skilled welder already then you'll probably be surprised when you get a little more out of this welder than you expect.
What Can I do with this Arksen MIG 130?
To be clear, despite its name this MIG welder isn't a MIG in the truest sense of the word.
A MIG welder comes capable of using shielding gas.
And the Arksen 130 MIG Welder uses flux core welding wire only and despite what the marketing material implies has no way to use shielding gas.
For those unfamiliar with flux core wire welding: -
The flux within the core of the wire releases compounds that when heated creates the shielding gas around the weld pool as the wire is consumed into the weld.
Similar to the Forney Easy Weld 29901 welder, which is also flux core only, more expensive, yes, and can also be bought as a welding kit. I have a popular article on the Forney 299 which, you can find here on the site.
Aimed at DIY hobbyists the Arksen 130 MIG welder is for those who want to weld mild steel, say in metal furniture, for light car repairs and general light welding around the home and barn.
If this sounds like you, then the Arksen MIG-130 may well you do you just fine.
Features of the Arksen MIG 130
The Arksen MIG 130 offers quite a few notable features for a modest budget.
The duty cycle of any MIG welder is the first thing you should look at and the Arksen welder is rated at 10% at 105 Amp and 35% at 60 Amp.
This mean that at the setting of 105 Amp you will be able in ten minutes to weld for a maximum of one minute and then you will need to rest the MIG-130 for at least nine minutes.
The highest settings will allow you to weld thicker pieces of metal.
Though unless you are skilled, don't expect to be able to weld more than 1/4 inch thick metal with this welder as a beginner.
For quarter inch thick metal, beveling and several passes with the 130 MIG would be needed. As will welding wire capable of multi pass flux core welding.
At the 60 Amp setting in 10 minutes you will be able to do three and a half minutes actual welding and then the welder will need to rest for at least six and a half minutes. Definitely at this setting you are talking about welding thinner, lighter metals.
Thermal Over Load Protection
An excellent feature of the Arksen MIG-130 Gasless Flux Core welder is the Thermal Over Load Protection. This capability means that should you attempt to exceed the duty cycle of this Arksen the welder will shut off the torch from welding.
There is an over temperature light that comes on should the airflow to the unit be blocked and is a visible sign that you have inadvertently exceeded the duty cycle.
This is all aimed at protecting the unit.
As experienced welders know exceeding the duty cycle of your welder will most likely put your welder beyond repair.
Best to leave 12 to 18 inches clearance to the back and front of the Arksen so that the fan can cool the MIG as it welds.
Be aware that when resting the welder to not exceed the duty cycle do not turn off the power to the welder.
Turning the power off means the fan doesn't get a chance to cool the internals of the welder and you will shorten significantly the live cycle of this MIG-130.
Because the torch head is live when the welder is switched on rest the torch on a safe surface and let the fan inside the welder continue so that it can cool the welder down so that the MIG-130 will be ready for the next weld cycle.
Is the Arksen MIG 130 Run on Household Power?
Yes, This welder runs on regular household current and uses a normal 3 pin plug. With this 110 volt welder there is no need for any special equipment to provide power. Though I suggest you will need a fused 20 Amp circuit to use the Arksen at its maximum voltage if you don't want to be tripping your fuses.
You get an Amp output voltage range of 50 to a maximum output of 120 Amps.
This welder is called a MIG 130 though you don't seem to be able to set this welder to 130 Amp.
However I wouldn't recommend pushing it to its maximum. It's duty cycle is rated at 10% for a welding setting of 105 Amp which is much lower than the 120 Amp claimed maximum for the welder.
What does that Mean?
You would get much less than a minute welding at its maximum power output.
The Arksen 130 MIG welder has two rocker switches to make up your four output voltage settings. More than some welders in its price range.
Two switches, one that can be set to Min or Max and the other switch that can be set to 1 or 2. Combining the different positions of the two switches is how you get your four settings.
To be clear on how you move up the heat range:
Min and 1 gives you the lowest setting. Move to 2 to step the heat.
Max and 1 gets you more heat. Max and 2 gives you the highest welding output.
There is nothing that tells you what Amp output you have with each switch combination.
And the MIG 130 welder manual does not describe what thickness of metals you can weld at which settings. Experimentation and preferably some experience is definitely needed.
Arksen Min and Max Metal Welding
From 18 gauge to 3/16th of an inch mild steel.
It is capable of welding up to 1/4 inch mild steel with beveling and multiple passes.
Though if you are looking to weld any more than occasionally a 1/4 inch thick piece of metal and you the lack skill to bevel and prepare the joint first, then I would recommend you go for a more powerful welder.
This entry level welder is not a strong machine for using it on its maximum settings for too long.
What Wires Can You Use?
I would suggest that you order your own quality wire and not rely on the sample wire that comes by default with the Arksen 130 MIG welder.
The Arksen MIG-130 uses;
- Flux-cored wire 0.030" and 0.035" for mild steel
The Arksen MIG 130 claims to use;
- Stainless steel flux core wire
- And wire diameter of 0.023" (normally a wire diameter for solid welding wire)
Arksen Welding Stainless Steel or Aluminum
I would suggest the claim that this MIG can weld Stainless steel and Aluminum is over zealous marketing for this welder.
Welding stainless steel with flux core draws power from a welder, and this welder doesn't have lots to spare.
Stainless steel flux core welding wire requires a welder that is able to change polarity to DCEP (MIG gun positive) and the Arksen is a DCEN (MIG gun negative) machine.
If you would like to find out more take a look at my research on flux core stainless steel welding wire.
Not to mention that Aluminum is a soft metal that would usually be fed up to the torch head with a spool gun.
This MIG 130 is not spool gun capable.
And there is no such thing as flux core wire for Aluminum welding. Why? Take a look at my article.
Welding Aluminum needs Argon shielding gas, as would welding with any solid MIG welding wire and this welder is gas less. There is no capability for using shielding gas.
The tension control for the wire feed is adjustable, which is useful, so that you can get a positive wire feed.
The Arksen MIG 130 Welder Manual
Yes, the Arksen does come with a Arksen MI 130 Welder Manual in the box but it is basic at best.
Some have even called it a waste of paper.
The Arksen welder manual shows you the absolute minimum on the set up and leaves some important points for you to figure out.
Here YouTube is your friend if you have no experience of welders at all. As many of these MIG 130 welders are the same just distributed under different names, just search for MIG 130 and find a video with the information you need.
Arksen Welding Parameters Chart?
It is also disappointing that there is no welding chart on the cabinet similar to what is seen on a lot of other welders.
You will indeed need to experiment to find the settings to use for your particular job. All this points this welder at the experienced and those familiar with MIG welder set up than the complete beginner.
What do Users of the Arksen MIG-130 think?
The majority are pleased with their purchase.
I've provided a link to the sales page of Arksen MIG-130 so that you can take a look.
Scroll down to the bottom to take a look. You can click on the star rating you are interested in and then click on the button to select the most recent reviews.
I think with reasonable expectations of what the welder is capable of and if you don't try to push it beyond that, you'll have a handy portable welder.
Unboxing the Arksen MIG 130 YouTube Video
I found this unboxing YouTube video you may find useful - watch until 8 mins 20 after that the man videoed is shown using the Arksen MIG outside and in a way I can't recommend from a safety point of view.
Despite that it's a nice video.
Video Credit : POVadventure
What is in the Box?
In the box you will find;
- The Arksen MIG 130 Welder
- The welding torch
- 2 x 0.035 sized contact tips
- Grounding Cord and Clamp
- Flux Core Welding Wire
- Hand Held Welding Mask
- Combined Chipping Hammer and wire brush
Arksen are trying to aim this MIG toward beginners, as a beginners welding kit or start up kit. Which is why it comes with a bundle of accessories.
However as I wrote earlier, beginners beware. Don't be fooled by what is in the box.
The hand held face mask is basic at best and hand held. I would strongly suggest you invest in a proper welding helmet.
As anyone experienced knows, you will need both hands free to hold your torch steady or to hold the piece you are working on. A hand held face mask won't be much practical use to you.
The combined chipping hammer/wire brush is not sturdy, again do yourself a favor and order yourself a good one. The one that's supplied in the box will be in the bin in no time.
Spare quality contact tips will also be a good investment for you as a beginner.
Is the Arksen MIG 130 Gas-less Flux Core Wire Welder Portable?
At 38 pounds the Arksen MIG 130 is light enough for a flux core only welder.
With dimensions at 11" x 19" x 17" it is conveniently sized so is portable and could be taken to the piece to be welded.
The Arksen Company?
Looking for the Arksen Company or The Arksen manufacturer? You won't find it.
Arksen is a trading name and brand of a company called RGE Motor Direct Inc, operating out of California, USA.
Arksen as a trading name imports and markets many products for the home and DIY'er and their welder products are mainly manufactured in China.
The Arksen MIG 130 welder is imported from China and has been around on the market since 2011.
There are a number of MIG 130 welders that look and have similar if not the same specifications that are sold under different trading names that have little to do with Arksen.
The outside color maybe in black or yellow and underneath this cosmetic difference they are the same. You will see this welder marketed under the Super Deal Black Commercial MIG 130, Zeny MIG 130, Goplus MIG 130, and the FDS MIG 130, brand names.
The Chinese manufacturer of these MIGs is clearly happy to resell through a number of different channels into the US market.
You may be interested to see how the MIG 130s compare to other flux core welders under 200 dollars. I have an article on the site that compares the 4 best.
I hope you enjoyed my article "Arksen MIG 130, is Back!" and that I gave you the needed background information, hints and tips for the reasons to buy this welder.
If you are looking for something at the entry level of the market and have limited budget to spend then this welder could be for you.
If you want a light duty welder because you just need something for those odd times of the year when you need to weld something up then this welder could repay its price to you several times over.
And if you have time, why not see where the same welders as the Arksen MIG 130 appear on my welding kits for beginners list.