You want a welder
Need a welder, but you have only limited funds and means. You're looking at all those cheap circa 100 dollar welders on eBay and Amazon and you're tempted.
Really tempted by the Goplus MIG 130 welder.
But are you making the right choice and choosing wisely?
I hope to help you here, reveal the plus points and minus points of the entry end of the welder market place. In the end it'll be your choice and if nothing else you'll be more informed after reading what I have to say.
And decide whether it is smart for you to spend your cash on a Goplus MIG 130.
Goplus MIG 130
As with anything in life understanding is everything. As long as you're clear what this welder does and is capable of when you make your choice you should be very happy with the Goplus.
This welder is cheap, around 100-150 dollars for a welder is cheap.
So it is of great interest to a home hobby welder who only needs a light, occasional use welder. Or something to learn and start practicing new welding skills on.
And even the more experienced may well be interested in buying the Goplus, if they are looking for something portable, easy set up, that will weld up mild steel quick cause they have their big boys welder for the serious stuff.
First things first.
The Goplus MIG 130 has MIG in its title. Is it a MIG welder?
Strictly speaking no.
A MIG welder is a welder that is able to weld with solid wire and shielding gas.
To get a weld that holds, the hot molten metal must be protected from the surrounding air till it cools. In the MIG welding process a separate tank of shielding gas does this job.
Most all MIG welders also allow you to change their setup and put in and weld with flux core welding wire.
I have an article on the site that goes into much more detail about what is MIG welding.
And what is a MIG welder if you are new to this entire subject and want to know more. Do go ahead and take a look.
The Goplus is a Flux Core only welder. This means it uses flux core welding wire. The compounds in the center of the wire when melted form a shield at the point of the weld to protect the welded joint.
Welding with flux core wire is also known as gas less welding as no bottle of shielding gas is needed.
Again if you would like to know about the process of flux core welding you can find out in my article "What is Flux Core Welding for Beginners and Everyone Else" and if you want to know more about flux core welders generally then do have a look at "What is a Flux Core Welder? Learn Exactly in 10 Minutes".
Plus point of flux core welding is - you only need the flux core welding wire, you don't have to think about a tank of shielding gas as well.
The possible minus point of flux core welding is that flux core wire doesn't necessarily produce the prettiest of welds. But if that is not important to you then no problem. And you can also always use an angle grinder on the weld to smooth it all down afterwards.
The Goplus is spookily similar to a raft of Chinese manufactured MIG 130 flux core only welders on the market, similar sized, same fronts, controls and features. They are imported and sold by a number of companies.
Now you have an idea of what the Goplus MIG 130 is let's look more closely at it.
Goplus MIG 130 YouTube Video
I liked this Goplus video where Savvy Thoughts goes through his experience with the flux core welder. He likes it a lot. I hope you enjoy his video as much as I did.
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Flux Core
Video Credit: Savvy_Thoughts Reviews
Goplus MIG 130 Review of Features
Some professional and more experienced welders will say don't waste your time with any welder that costs under 1000 dollars. And that's great if you have 1000 dollars to spend. A home use MIG welder is generally around the 350 - 500 dollars mark for something reasonable.
As an entry level flux core only welder the Goplus is closer to the 100-150 dollar mark. This tells you this welder is no professional welding machine, but depending on the job you want to do it could be just right for you.
Question is; What Do you want to use the Goplus Welder for?
If you're interested in starting welding but don't have the money right now or even just want to try this whole welding thing out then this welder may be for you.
If your welding jobs are mainly mild steel bits and pieces around the home or you are prepared to be patient and go slow, then this welder may be for you.
If the gauge of metal is thin-ish, i.e. No more than 1/4 inch and no less than 18 gauge then you'll be good with the Goplus.
The duty cycle of a welder is important to understand.
The Goplus MIG 130 is rated at 10% at 105 Amp (although 15% at 105 Amp is claimed by the distributor of this welder).
What does this mean?
A duty cycle is measured over a ten minute period. A welder with a 10% duty cycle means that you can weld continuously for one minute at the set Amp output before the welder can't weld any more. This welder has thermal protection so should it overheat it will switch itself off.
The Amp output (welding output level) the Goplus measures its duty cycle at is 105 Amp. This is less than the 120 Amp maximum output this welder is capable of.
Netting this out, weld at less than 105 Amp output then you'll get a bit more than a minutes welding continuously.
Weld at more than 105 Amp and you'll get much less than a minutes welding.
How much less?
Well that will depend on the ambient air temperature. In a hot humid climate it could be a really short time, compared to a cooler climate.
If you are thinking of welding continuously for five minutes with this welder you will be disappointed. This one is not going to do it for you.
Goplus MIG 130 Specs Overview
50 to 120 Amp
Min Max Weld Width
18 gauge to 1/4 inch
0.030 to 0.035 Flux Core only
Dimensions and Size
14 x 13.5 x 7.5 inches, 35 lb.
Available in black or yellow (the yellow paint costs you extra). This welder is made with a stainless steel body and comes with automatic thermal cut should you over heat the welder.
Powering The Goplus
The Goplus is designed for home workshop, yard use and takes an input voltage of 110 volts. It uses a normal 3 pin plug. Plug it into a 20 Amp fused circuit and you won't be cursing each time it trips your fuse.
Min Max Welding Output Voltage
From 50 to 120 Amp. There is nothing that tells you what switch setting gets you what voltage output. Remember I said this is a cheap welder?
This is one of the drawbacks of a cheap welder. Also bear in mind what I wrote earlier about the duty cycle. Put this welder on its maximum setting and you'll have less than a minute of welding time.
Min Max Metal Weld Width
The Goplus will weld from 18 gauge mild steel to 1/4 of an inch mild steel.
Be advised with all the entry level welders welding 3/16th of an inch and 1/4 inch mild steel will need some skill in preparing the joint.
Expect to bevel the joint and make multiple weld passes to weld this thickness of metal successfully.
You will also need to buy some multi pass rated flux core wire so do bear that in mind.
And expect to give this welder a chance to penetrate the joint. It's an entry level welder after all.
Metals the Goplus can Weld
And to give it the best possible chance clean up the steel as best you can. Clean off any rust, paint and oil. It's recommended with any kind of welding to clean up your joint.
Flux core welding is more forgiving of dirty metal but this is a cheap welder and it just doesn't have the power to burn through that stuff and make the weld.
So clean, clean, clean your metal.
Can the Goplus Weld Galvanized Steel?
You may get lucky at thinner gauges. Galvanization is a coating that the Goplus would need to burn off before it is able to weld. As a 110 volt welder its really not up to doing that.
Can the Goplus Weld Stainless Steel?
I know welding stainless steel is claimed for this welder however.
Welding stainless steel sucks power out of a welder. Yes there is stainless steel flux core wire.
But it needs a MIG gun set to positive a DCEP setting and this welder is DCEN, MIG gun negative so wouldn't work.
And anyway this welder is just too underpowered.
Can the Goplus Weld Aluminum?
Again I know this is claimed for this welder but welding Aluminum take as much if not more power than welding stainless steel. This welder is unable to produce enough power, not to mention that welding Aluminum really needs a spool gun setup and this welder is incapable of using a spool gun
What welding wires can the Goplus Use?
0.030 and 0.035 inch flux core mild steel wire.
0.035 flux core wire and contact tips are supplied with the Goplus.
You may well find for your particular welding 0.030 wire may suit you better. This size of wire takes less voltage output to weld and generally suits the lower spec, lower voltage welders.
Give it a go, and you may be happier with the performance of the Goplus MIG 130.
Just be sure to get 0.030 contact tips to match your 0.030 wire.
The Goplus comes with a half pound spool of wire. The welder itself can hold 1 lb. or 2 lb. flux core wire spools.
It doesn't hold the 10 lb. spools of wire which would be useful as flux core welding wire is relatively expensive anyway and the larger spools work out cheaper per pound to buy.
This again demonstrates that this is an entry level welder and you can't expect everything.
What about 0.023 Wire?
Yes, now it is strange that the distributors for this welder say this welder can take 0.023 wire. And I guess at the most basic level this is true ... you can put it in.
But if you want to do anything with the wire, well ...
0.023 wire size is for solid wire. This welder does not use shielding gas so this wire is no use to you what so ever with this welder.
There is no point in you spending cash on this wire size for this welder
Goplus Welder Controls
On the front is the On Off switch.
The Goplus allows you to have four output voltage settings.
The output settings are controlled via two switches.
One switch has Min and Max on it the other has 1 and 2.
- The lowest output setting is: Min switch plus the 1 switch
- Next lowest is: Min plus 2
- To go higher is: Max plus 1
- The highest setting is: Max plus 2
Other than that you have the wire feed speed adjustment dial. The dial runs from 1 to 10.
There is nothing in the manual that is going to tell you which output setting to use for which gauge of metal you are welding. Experimentation is going to be your only option.
Get some scrap pieces of metal of the gauge you are looking to weld and practice to see what setting you get the right penetration on.
Generally, the slower wire feed speed for the lower settings and thinner gauges of metal. And higher feed speed for the highest setting and thicker metal gauges.
A 7 foot power cord.
A 6 foot cord to welding gun and you have a 6 foot cord to the welding clamp. 6 foot is short. Moving up the price range you'll see home use welders that come with 8 foot or 10 foot of cord length.
Dimension and Size
With the over all size at 14 H x 13.5 L x 7.5 D inches and its weight at 35 lb the Goplus is a light weight and conveniently sized welder designed to be portable and easy to take to your welding project.
What will you Find in the Box
Marketed as a welding kit with additional accessories to appeal to the hobby and beginner welder, you'll find in the box.
- The Goplus flux core welder which includes the MIG gun and cord to the ground clamp.
- 2 contact tips of 0.035 size
- A reel of flux core wire .55 lbs,
- A hand held face protection mask
- Combined brush/chipping hammer
Although you do get the accessories of flux core wire, face protection mask and combined brush and chipping hammer they are not of the best quality.
Even quality at all.
Save yourself time and frustration and order some better quality welding wire at the same as your Goplus.
No one wants their novice welding beads affected by rubbish wire.
Get yourself some multi pass capable flux core wire if you think you'll be welding 3/16th or 1/4 inch mild steel.
The hand held face protection mask is plastic, light weight and I really don't know why they bother putting it in the box.
Get yourself a welding helmet preferably auto darkening if you don't already have one. After all who wants arc eye?
The same goes for the combined chipping hammer and brush, it will be in the bin in no time.
Invest in tools that will do a job for you.
YouTube Video Comparing a MIG 130 to ...
For those of you considering the Harbor Freight 90 this YouTube video from Coffee and Tools compares the MIG 130 to an entry level welder from Harbor Freight.
And it does pretty well.
MIG 130 vs Harbor Freight 90
Video Credit: Coffee and Tools
Goplus MIG 130 Welder Manual
There is a very basic manual that comes with this welder. And I guess this is where spending more on your welder will get you something better.
On this entry level welder the manual has been described as a waste of paper. Don't expect too much from it.
Experimentation will be your friend. As will videos on YouTube.
There is nothing that tells you the welding output at which setting on the welder or the gauge of metal they suggest welding at a particular button setting and wire feed dial setting.
This welder is from the same stable as the Zeny MIG 130, Super Deal MIG 130, Arksen MIG 130 and FDS MIG 130. Hell it even has FDS on the front. Any of the MIG 130 videos will help you out. The one below is a great example of one.
YouTube Video How do I install the Welding Wires?
Because the manual that comes with this welder is so poor many run into trouble knowing how to put in the flux core welding wire correctly.
This YouTube video from Zeny goes through the procedure and should be useful for you.
Zeny: How to Install the Welding Wire Properly
Video Credit: Spencer NI
User Experiences with The Goplus MIG welder
Right back at the beginning of this article I posed the question whether this Goplus is a smart welder to spend your cash on.
My answer is yes, as long as it suits what you plan to do and your expectations of this entry level welder are reasonable.
Take a view of the user reviews on the Amazon sales page.
Scroll down to the bottom of the sales page to view the reviews. Select the star level you would like to look at and then select the latest reviews.
The users that are the most happy with this welder are ones with the right expectations and are using the welder within its capabilities.
Goplus MIG 130 Parts
Because these entry level welders are made in China and are essentially made to be disposable once they fail, finding parts for these welders is nigh on impossible.
The best you can expect is to find consumables like;
Flux core welding wire, sizes 0.030 or 0.035. Not sure what the difference is between those sizes of flux core wire, take a looks at my article here.
Replacement for the Goplus MIG 130 contact tips? They are standard size consumables. 0.030 and 0.035 contact tips are generally available on Amazon.
Who Manufactures the Goplus MIG 130
This is a MIG welder made in China and distributed through a number of US companies. Namely Zeny, Super Deal, Arksen and FDS.
All these welders have the same specifications, look the same, have the same controls, accessories and features.
They are in effect interchangeable.
So which one you buy could come down to which one is the cheapest on the day you decide to buy, and which of the distributing companies you think will give you the best after sales service should you get a rogue, dead on arrival unit.
Pay attention to the after sales service of the various distributors for the best user experience.
Goplus themselves sell many differing types of product through Amazon, Tools, fitness equipment, outdoor equipment and luggage as well as the Goplus MIG 130 welder.
Short, These welders are really designed to be disposable. Don't expect any more than 90 days warranty at this end of the welder market.
If you only have a small budget this may be all you can afford right now and that's fine too. Just understand what the Goplus can do and you may well be very happy with it.
Essentially it is an entry level, flux core welder that uses flux core wire for mild steel welding.
As long as that is what you are after, I would say yes! It is smart to spend you cash on a Goplus MIG 130.