You want the best because you need to get those metal repair jobs done around the home, yard or ranch.
Those jobs are lurking, calling to you to fix them up.
Or you’re thrilled with the idea of MIG welding as a hobby.
Perhaps you are attracted to the idea of taking on the odd welding job. You think to yourself, I could earn extra cash welding as a side hustle.
Your home MIG welder has to run on 120 volt power. As that is all you have available at home.
You’ll find here the top 5 best welders for home use running on 120 volts. Read through and discover the ideal one for you.
The Top 5 Welders For Home Use 2021
*Disclosure: The following table contains affiliate links. And at no extra cost to you this site earns a commissions through these links should you decide to buy.
5 Best Home Use Welders
Now, you’ll find some quick reviews of the 5 best MIG welders for home use that run on 120 volts.
If you read on, later in this article you’ll discover some head to heads.
In those head to heads you will see how the MIG welders stack up against each other on important points.
Points like duty cycle, metals and gauges welded, size and weight.
Best MIG Welder For Home Use Quick Reviews
1. Everlast I-MIG 140e MIG Welder (The Best)
Unique in this list of home use MIG welders, you have the Everlast I-MIG 140e.
The Everlast I-MIG 140e is a 120v MIG welder. And it is special because the 140e is the only welder in the list that uses IGBT(Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) technology. IGBT powers the Everlast 140e with an inverter, while the other MIG welders use a transformer
The magic of IGBT technology is that you have better welding power output for less power input. When you are limited to 120 volts in your home shop or garage, it is amazing what IGBT allows this MIG welder to weld.
IGBT allows the Everlast 140e to have the best duty cycle at a whopping 25% at 140 Amp. This means that you can weld for longer.
And it allows the Everlast iMIG 140e to be the lightest MIG welder here. Carry it to where you need it without breaking your back.
Reasons To Buy The Everlast 140e
Reasons Not To Buy the Everlast 140e
Summary Of The Everlast 140e
You get great performance for your welding. Buy this welder and you’ll have the widest range of metals you can weld: Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum and Chrom-moly.
And you can take on the thickest gauges of metals of the 5 featured home shop MIG welders.
You’ll find that there aren’t many areas where the other MIG welders here can beat the Everlast 140e. It is why it is in the top spot as the best MIG welder for home use.
Liked this tantalizing peak at the Everlast I-MIG 140e? Head here for the full review.
2. Hobart Handler 140 MIG 500559 Welder (Runner Up)
When it is important for you to buy a MIG welder that is USA designed and built, then the Hobart Handler 140 is the MIG welder for you.
The Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder is a 115 volt MIG welder that will weld on a 20 Amp home circuit.
You’ll find in the Hobart 140 a MIG welder that is built for light to medium welding tasks. You should buy this when you want a sturdy and well built MIG welder with a really great reputation. Mend those fences, that car or truck repair. The Hobart 140 is a great MIG welder for the home workshop or home garage.
Reasons To Buy The Hobart 140
Reasons Not To Buy The Hobart 140
Summary Of The Hobart 140
The Hobart 140 is your runner up 120v MIG welder for the home garage or workshop. A five year warranty shows how much faith Hobart has in this welder. And what a great welder this is.
3. Lotos MIG 140 MIG Wire Welder (Worth A Look)
If you choose the Lotos MIG 140 you’ll discover a MIG welder that is reassuringly well specified for a home use MIG welder.
You have two LED digital displays on the front of this MIG welder. The LEDs help you to clearly see your voltage output settings and your wire feed speed. Super convenient for when you want to quickly check your settings but you are standing some distance away.
You’ll find in the Lotos 140 a MIG welder that will weld using 110v input. Want to crank it up to the max then a 120 Amp dedicated circuit will be what you need.
Reasons To Buy The Lotos 140 MIG Welder
Reasons Not To Buy The Lotos 140
Summary Of The Lotos 140 MIG Welder
There is really nothing bad to say about the Lotos 140 MIG welder. Use for when you want to weld up a grill or a smoker or repair that gate. It is, a great MIG welder for around the yard.
You have in the Lotos 140 a versatile MIG welder with lots of happy owners. .
Enticed by this brief description of the Lotos 140 MIG Welder? You can check out my full review over here.
4. Forney Easy Weld 29901 125FC MIG Welder (Also Great)
The Forney Easy Weld 29901 is a 120 volt flux core welder. The Forney 29901 may seem a strange addition to this list.
But if you only have mild steel jobs to weld at your home or around your yard. And you want a welder that’s as simple as pie to use.
Then the Forney 29901 could be your faithful welding buddy.
And if you are so new to welding you have zero, nada, nothing at home, relax as you can buy the Forney 29901 as a start up kit.
Not sure what that means? Let me enlighten you.
In the Start Up Kit you buy the Forney Easy Weld 29901 125FC welder plus:
- a welding helmet,
- welding gloves,
- a second set of gloves
- a grinding disc wheel,
- a wire scratch brush
And what is awesome is that they are all Forney products. And that makes them excellent quality. They will be items you’ll have for years.
Reasons To Buy The Forney Easy Weld 29901
Reasons Not To Buy The Forney Easy Weld 29901
Summary Of The Forney Easy Weld 29901
The Forney Easy Weld 29901 125FC is a simple wire welder. Manufactured by one of the best brand names. This welder is an excellent choice if you are a hobby welder or you want a welder for those occasional jobs.
You get here a welder that is reliable, durable, and the extra bonus is that it is portable too. You can be assured that the Forney Easy Weld 29901 is one of the best flux core wire welders for the money.
Intrigued by this outline of the Forney Easy Weld 29901. I have an article that goes deeper.
5. Lincoln Electric Handy MIG K2185-1 Welder (Worth a Look)
You get in the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG K2185 a 115v MIG welder that is well proven in the market place.
You’ll also get some Lincoln Electric accessories to start you off. Supplied is a combined chipping hammer and brush along with a hand held face shield. All Lincoln Electric quality.
You’ll like the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG if you are looking for a welder for those casual welding jobs around the yard.
Reasons To Buy The Lincoln Handy MIG Welder
Reasons Not To Buy The Lincoln Handy MIG Welder
Summary Of The Lincoln Handy MIG Welder
Many Handy MIGs have shipped over the years to hundreds of delighted users.
Its long and great reputation is what secured its place on this best welder for home use list.
Easy to set up and use, you’ll want to buy it for those furniture repairs, metal racks and auto welds.
You have had a look at the top five. Read on and you will find more detail as I put these home use MIG welders through their paces on some important points.
The Power Needs Of MIG Welders At Home
You will need a 120 volt and a 20 Amp fused circuit with a good earth connection. A circuit that you can dedicate to your MIG welder is the minimum for all these welders.
To drive the Everlast i-MIG 140e, the Hobart Handler 140, the Lincoln Handy MIG and the Lotos 140e welder at their highest welding output you will need a 30 Amp fused circuit.
Choose A Home MIG Welder With A Reasonable Duty Cycle
An important measurement for a MIG welder for home shop use is a solid duty cycle.
Duty cycle gives you and indication of how strong your welder is. The greater the duty cycle the longer you can use your MIG welder. Duty cycle is described as a percentage at a particular welding voltage. e.g. 20% at 80 Amps.
What does this mean?
This means that over a ten minute period you can weld for 2 minutes maximum at the 80 Amp setting. Then you will need to cool your welder for at least eight minutes. In comparing duty cycles 20% at 90 Amps is better than 20% at 80 Amps. Because you can weld for the same time at a higher setting.
Duty Cycles Of The 5 Home Shop MIG Welders
|Home MIG Welder||Duty Cycle|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||25% at 140 Amp|
|Hobart Handler 140||20% at 90 Amp|
|Lotos MIG 140||20% at 90 Amp|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||20% at 80 Amp|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||20% at 90 Amp|
On this measurement the Everlast iMIG 140e comes out the clear winner. With the Everlast 140 you can weld for 2 and a half minutes straight at 140 Amp. The highest voltage setting.
What Are You Going To MIG Weld At Home?
Take a moment to think about your welding projects. What is the typical thickness of metal you plan on MIG welding. You should plan on matching the metal gauges you intend to weld to the home MIG welder you buy.
|Home MIG Welder||Min – Max|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||24 Gauge to 3/8ths|
|Hobart Handler 140||24 Gauge to 1/4 in|
|Lotos MIG 140||24 Gauge to 3/16ths|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||24 Gauge to 1/4 in|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||24 Gauge to 1/8th|
And Maximum Voltage
|Home MIG Welder||Max Voltage|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||140 Amp|
|Hobart Handler 140||140 Amp|
|Lotos MIG 140||140 Amp|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||80 Amp|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||88 Amp|
You’ll see all these welders can weld from 24 gauge up.
The Everlast i-MIG 140e is the best as it can weld 3/8th thick metal. And it can go up to 140 Amp. To operate the Everlast 140e MIG welder at its maximum voltage output you will need to put in a 30 Amp circuit. This might not be possible for your home.
Metals MIG Welded By Your Home Project Welder
Thinking about what metals you plan to MIG weld is next.
Welding Mild Steel In The Home Shop
All the welders on this best Home MIG welder list will weld mild steel, low alloy steel and galvanized steel.
Welding Stainless Steel At Home
Welding stainless steel will generally require a welder that will also run Tri-Mix shielding gas. The Everlast 140e, the Hobart 140 and the Lotos 140 will run Tri-Mix.
You can find stainless steel flux core wire to buy. I have an article on the site that is worth a read if you are interested in finding out about stainless steel flux core welding wire. As you will want some insider knowledge before you get some.
Welding Aluminum In A Home Workshop
As for welding Aluminum, some of the MIG welders here will. You will need to use a special spool gun. One that is used to feed the Aluminum filler wire.
Aluminum is a soft metal and using a spool gun for the Aluminum filler wire will produce the best results.
Another thing for you to think about is that Aluminum welding needs plenty of output voltage.
Best 5 Home MIG Welders Metals Welded
|Home MIG Welder||Metals Welded|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum with Optional Spool Gun|
|Hobart Handler 140||Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, No Spool Gun For Aluminum|
|Lotos MIG 140||Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, Aluminum with Optional Spool Gun|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||Mild Steel, No Stainless Steel, No Spool Gun For Aluminum|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||Mild Steel, No Stainless Steel, No Spool Gun For Aluminum|
For both stainless steel welding and Aluminum welding with a MIG welder at home, you will need the maximum output voltage.
You’ll find a 30 Amp fused circuit is needed to feed the necessary power to your MIG welder.
You’ll see the Everlast iMIG 140e, and the Lotos MIG 140 will MIG weld mild steel, stainless steel and Aluminum. Want to weld those all those metals?
These are the ones to choose.
Available Power When You take Your Welder Away From The Home
If you are going to take your MIG welder to your welding project, then thoughts about the power you at that location comes to mind.
You may want to think about extension cables that are robust. Ones suitable for the current they are carrying and the environment you are MIG welding in.
14 AWG extension cables or 12 AWG cables should be used depending on the distance from the socket.
If you are trailing extension cables outside, then for safety you should look for ones rated for out door use.
On the MIG welder itself, longer cords to the welding torch and grounding clamp mean have more flexibility in the way you can work. It means you shouldn’t get frustrated because you just can’t reach.
The Most Portable MIG Welder
You will find portability is not only about the weight and size of the welder. You will want to think about what you can easily carry around. Especially when the welder is filled with welding wire. Some of these MIG welders can hold a 10 lb. spool.
And a 10 lb. spool of wire will add 10 lb. to their weight.
The 5 Home Use MIG Welders Carrying Size And Weight
|Home MIG Welder||Size And Weight|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||14 x 8.5 x 17 in – 25 lbs|
|Hobart Handler 140||12 x 11 x 19 in – 57 lbs|
|Lotos MIG 140||14 x 9.5 x 16 in – 54 lbs|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||12.6 x 18.5 x 24.6 in – 42.6 lbs|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||12.8 x 8.8 x 18 in – 46 lbs|
|Home MIG Welder||Hose And Ground Clamp Cord Lengths|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||10 ft|
|Hobart Handler 140||10 ft|
|Lotos MIG 140||8 ft|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||6 ft|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||8 ft|
When you are carrying around, the Everlast 140e I-MIG is the lightest. With the Forney Easy Weld 29901 coming in as second. Although the Forney 29901 is physically the largest of the MIG welders on the list.
After Sales Service When You Get Your MIG Welder Home
You have your welder, you hope and trust your MIG welder will give you many years of good service.
There is no doubt that the more reliable the welder the keener the manufacturer is to give you a longer warranty. You will see the detail on the warranty given on the top 5 MIG welders in the table below
The 5 MIG Welders On Warranty
|Home MIG Welder||Warranty|
|Everlast i-MIG 140e||5 year warranty parts and labor against manufacturing defects. 6 months warranty on the torch and cables and should the MIG fail within 30 days, Everlast will pay shipping to and from the repair center|
|Hobart Handler 140||5 year warranty on the transformer, 3 years on the electronics, one year on the MIG gun|
|Lotos MIG 140||30 day buy with confidence, 100% satisfaction guarantee, 1 year limited warranty|
|Forney Easy Weld 29901||6 months warranty on defects on manufacturing, 90 day on the MIG gun|
|Lincoln Electric K2185||1 year limited warranty parts and labor, 90 days on the MIG gun and cable|
In terms of Warranty, Hobart and Everlast offer the best after purchase service. 5 years warranty is wonderful. Everlast paying shipping to and from the repair center is stunning.
The Best 5 MIG Welders For Home And Their Forums
An active manufacturers forum is a nice to have when you first buy your MIG welder.
You can look up or ask those burning questions you have about your new MIG welder.
You will find below how the chosen manufacturers and their welders do on the active forum question.
- Everlast – yes there is the Everlast Generators Welding Forum
- Forney – No forum
- Hobart Welders – yes the Hobart Weld Talk Forum
- Lincoln Electric – No forum
- Lotos Technology – No forum
Everlast and Hobart have active engaged forums. You can ask all sorts of questions. You’ll also find representatives from the companies themselves and they answer questions and queries too.
Forney, Lincoln Electric and Lotos have no active forum.
Don’t despair as there are more general welding forums across the web. Forums where you can take advantage of the skill and experience of the people there.
You may find joining a forum when you get your new MIG welder is a perfect way to get backup and advice.
You may not agree with my choice as the winner of the best MIG welder for home use and that’s ok.
I hope that I have provided you with enough targeted knowledge so that you can choose a MIG welder from the list that will be perfect for you.
About Ben Norton
I learned welding 30 years ago at a local community college. Then learnt how to fabricate and hone my welding working in a workshop. And later in my own company.
I’ve welded projects large and small. Commercially and privately for friends. I MIG and flux core weld but my favorite is TIG welding.
When I’m not working, you’ll find me out and about with my wife and my son. And our two gun dogs. Or at home doing jobs around the yard and feeding the chickens.