Back in the day, 110V welders got a bad rap. The technology just wasn’t there. Today, inverter technology is more efficient. These new inverters allow the creation of powerful and quality welders. A 110v welder still isn’t going to match a 220v welder in brute force. But, in the right situations they can be the perfect machine!
Who needs a 110v MIG welder?
These size welders are ideal for home and farm use. Additionally, they are great for automotive work. They provide smooth welds and work well for thin material.
Generally, these welders join 24ga up to 1/8” steel, although some will handle up to 1/4 inch. Most hobby welders will never weld anything beyond 1/8 inch in thickness.
Additionally, everybody has 110v power in their garage. For this reason, welders can usually plug in directly. This saves the trouble of having to run 220v service.
As a bonus, 110v MIG welders tend to be lighter, around 50 pounds. This makes them ideal to take to the job location. Just make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on extension cords!
Note that a 20 amp circuit is recommended, if not required for the welder to work properly. Many people have good luck with 15 amp circuits, but, we always recommend a 20 amp circuit for 110v welders.
Here are our top picks, read below for thoughts and features.
These are the best 110V welders on the market. Of course, there are a ton of cheap Chinese models available today. These do not have the quality of construction or performance of the name brands. However, if you are looking for a throw away welder, they may be worth looking at.
Advantages of 110V Mig Welders
- Portability – lighter weights are much easier to take to the job rather than brining the job to the welder.
- Cost – Generally these are cheaper than a 220v welder, why pay for more machine than you need?
- Can weld a variety of materials (with proper set-up)
Disadvantages of 110V Mig Welders
- Generally best suited for lighter materials, unsuited for structural uses like a vehicle trailer.
- They tend to have lower operating cycles than bigger machines. For this reason, they are not suited to industrial use and heavy welding.
- Cheap ones will not last as long as a heavier machine (Of course this goes for larger welders as well.)
Hobart 500559 Handler 140
Perfect for household repairs, automotive repairs, or projects. This little MIG can be out of the box and up and running in 15 minutes. The Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is ideal for beginners and light professional use.
Some of the prime features of the welder include:
- Welds 24ga up to ¼ inch mild steels – more than adequate for most household or automotive projects.
- 5 position voltage selector- allows fine tuning of your arc for different materials and thicknesses.
- Duty cycle of 20% @ 90 amps
We really like that adjustments can be made quickly and smoothly on the front of the unit. Additionally, there is a handy guide just inside the front cover to help with setting up. This helps with voltage, wire gauge, and speed for various materials and thicknesses.
While the welder works great right out the box, it does come set up for flux core wire. While flux core wire does have its uses, we recommend upgrading to gas and solid core wire. This allows greater ease of use, flexibility and cleaner welds.
At 65 pounds, this is one of the heavier 110V MIG welders out there. Of course, a large part of the added weight is the high quality. We recommend a cart for this, both for portability and for increased air flow.
Are there cheaper welders out there? Sure, but this is a case you get what you pay for. This welder will last a lifetime of household use. This welder is the best in price, quality and performance of any 110v MIG welder.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
This is an ideal 110v mig welder for beginners, automotive repairs, and light projects around the house. Welding up to 1/8” thick mild steel is suitable for most household projects. Yet, 1/8″ is too light for most structural applications, like a heavy trailer.
Some of the key features of the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder:
- Welding on 24ga up to 1/8” mild steel
- 4 position voltage selector – while not as nice as infinite tuning, you can easily find a setting that works.
- Duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps
This welder is simple to set up and comes with an easy to follow instruction book. We like the simple controls and quick setup.
This is another welder that comes with flux core wire. As always, we recommend getting a gas tank and switching to gas and solid core wire. Flux core tends to smoke and splatter more since the flux is inside. Additionally, gas allows for cleaner welds on thin metals.
When switching this welder to gas, we recommend replacing the regulator that comes with it with an aftermarket one. The provided one does not have a gauge to show how much gas is in the bottle or how much is coming out.
One final thing to note about this welder. It is marketed as a complete kit. However, the welding hood that comes with it is a joke. You will want to get a quality welding mask. Here are some of our most recommended welding helmets.
In 2017 this welder was upgrade with new features. These include a 2T/4T switch, a redesigned ground cable quick connector, and digital displays. All which make this welder easier to use.
For some reason, LOTUS chooses to advertise this heavily as an aluminum welder besides steels. To weld aluminum, it requires buying an additional spool gun. Of course, this is no different than any other MIG welder. Apparently, they feel this is a good marketing ploy.
Key features of this welder include:
- 2T/4T switch – makes long welding jobs easier
- Fully adjustable wire speed with digital display
- Welds 24ga to 3/16” mild steel
- Operating cycle of 20% @ 90amps
This welder is versatile and easy to set up. Set up takes less than 15 minutes. However, there are a couple of considerations. With a LOTUS you do not get anywhere near the level of support of a Hobart welder, and the instruction manual isn’t particularly user friendly.
We really like the easy to adjust feed and heat settings. The digital readouts are just icing on the cake. The trade-offs mentioned should be weighed against the features this welder provides.
All in all, this is a solid welder for the beginner or home use. For the price conscious shopper this is a great choice. It is full of features you generally don’t find on this level of MIG welder.