Best 120v MIG Welder (in 2022)

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Are you a home hobbyist or a professional in the market for a quality welder that works with 120V input? Regardless of your needs or experience, this review has you covered.

Numerous brands state that they are “the best” in their category. But time has shown that only a few models live up to the claim. The rest cause you nothing but headaches and disappointment. Or worse, you feel ripped off. You deserve durability, features, and a positive brand reputation are needed when you buy a welder, no matter the price bracket.

So, this article will help you identify which 120V MIG welder is best for you based on your needs. But if you are entirely new to welding, stick around until the end of the article. We also cover how to choose your first machine!


A Quick Comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Best 120V MIG welder for beginners
YesWelder MIG-205DS
YesWelder MIG-205DS

Dual-voltage input

Multi-process welder

IGBT Inverter-based

Best budget 120V MIG welder
Eastwood MIG 140
Eastwood MIG 140

Latest IGBT inverter technology

For sheet metal

3-Years warranty

Best gasless 120v MIG welder
Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i
Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i

Flux-cored only

Aggressively priced

Ultra-lightweight

Best 120v multiprocess welder
Klutch MP230SiDV
Klutch MP230SiDV

Multi-process welder

IGBT inverter-based

Dual-voltage input

Best transformer portable 120V welder
Hobart Handler 140
Hobart Handler 140

Transformer-based

Made in the USA

5-voltage settings

Best transformer welder with spool gun support
Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 140
Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 140

Transformer-based

Portable

It supports a spool gun

Best 120v MIG Welder Reviews

We’ll start with the YesWelder’s bargain welder and proceed to the more durable, professional machines later. Our first pick is more than adequate if you are a weekend DIY warrior, but consider the Eastwood (the #2 review) for better build quality.

1. YesWelder MIG-205DS 120v Welder

YesWelder MIG-205DS 120v Welder
  • Multi-process unit; supports MIG, FCAW, TIG, and stick welding processes
  • Loaded with features including 2T/4T, inductance, gas check, etc.
  • Synergic MIG (auto) and manual settings
  • Two digital displays
  • IGBT inverter-based
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Dual voltage input with high amperage output using 120V
  • DINSE connectors for easy polarity switching

Pros

  • Outstanding arc quality for the price
  • 160A output with 120V input
  • 60% duty cycle
  • Supports useful features like 2T/4T, manual wire feeding, gas check, etc.
  • Inductance setting for modifying bead profile
  • Automatic and manual settings
  • Infinitely adjustable settings
  • Two digital displays for a better overview of set values
  • Simple polarity switching
  • Cast aluminum wire drive system
  • Long leads
  • Great MIG gun and ground clamp
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Sheet metal housing is a bit thin (e.g., you can bend the door by hand)
  • Accessing the wire drive is challenging
  • TIG torch and gas regulator are not included
  • No spool gun support

Overview

The YesWelder MIG-205DS is the best choice for hobbyists. It’s feature-rich, has a relatively stable arc, and outputs ridiculous power when plugged into a 120V outlet. No other welder in our review supplies 160A using a standard home receptacle. Lincoln and Hobart better start taking notes. YesWelder may still be a fresh kid on the block, but it provides more power than the “industry’s blue bloods.”

Additionally, its 60% duty cycle at 160A (205A if you use 220V input) lets you make long welds. Plus, its 4T feature allows you to weld without holding the torch trigger. Still, the MIG-205DS build quality ranks it a hobbyist-grade welder, so don’t push it too much.

Any other welder on our list can satisfy a hobbyists’ needs. However, YesWelder’s approach separates it from the crowd. Lowering the build and arc quality allowed them to include more features at a low price. So, hobbyists who don’t need top performance or longevity get numerous valuable features at a low cost.

The digital displays and infinitely adjustable knobs are also helpful for rookie welders. They allow fine adjustments, which all welders appreciate. But knowing your precise settings helps to learn the welding processes quicker. You won’t find digital displays like this on all welders in this price range (you can read my full Yeswelder MIG-205DS review here).

The included DC lift TIG and stick welding is useful when MIG is not a suitable welding process. The TIG welding process works great for precision, and the stick process is best suited for dirty metal or welding outdoors.


2. Eastwood MIG 140 120v Welder

Eastwood MIG 140 120v Welder
  • Recently updated IGBT inverter core
  • 2T/4T and tack welding modes
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 140A output with a 30% duty cycle at 90 amps
  • Supports spool gun
  • DINSE connectors for easy polarity switching

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Stable arc, almost on par with Hobart
  • Recently upgraded inverter core
  • Weighs a mere 24.15 lbs
  • Infinite adjustability for voltage and wire speed
  • It supports an optional spool gun
  • Uses standard Tweco-style MIG torch consumables
  • Quality MIG torch and ground clamp with long leads
  • Tack weld mode
  • 3-Year warranty

Cons

  • No digital display
  • Low duty cycle

Overview

The Eastwood MIG 140 has the edge over YesWelder in build quality. Its body is more rigid, and the manufacturer places far more confidence in its unit by providing a 3-year warranty. But, Eastwood’s longevity comes at the expense of digital displays and included functions.

So, do you value longevity or features? That’s an essential question if you are a rookie. Eastwood’s infinitely adjustable knobs with printed wire speed and voltage values are good enough to set everything correctly. However, YesWelder’s digital displays and functions let you tailor weld variables in fine detail (read my full Eastwood MIG 140 review here).

But if you weld often, the Eastwood MIG 140 will likely last longer. Eastwood is a USA brand with a long history in the automotive industry. So, it is no surprise that 2T/4T and tack weld modes are included, helpful for sheet metal and car body restoration.

If the Eastwood MIG 140 had a longer duty cycle, it would have worked great in a professional setting. However, it can only weld for three minutes at 90 amps before resting for another seven minutes. But, its bigger brother, the  Eastwood MIG 180, has a far longer duty cycle, more power, and supports a dual-voltage input.


3. Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i 120v Gasless MIG Welder

Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i 120v Gasless MIG Welder
  • Gasless flux-cored welder
  • Weighs just 19 lbs
  • 140A output with a 30% duty cycle at 90 amps
  • IGBT inverter-based
  • Rugged all-corner rubber protection
  • Infinite adjustability

Pros

  • Lightest welder in our review
  • Adequate build and arc quality
  • One of the most affordable welders on the market
  • Good MIG gun and ground clamp quality
  • Decent power output and duty cycle considering the low price
  • 1-Year warranty

Cons

  • Plastic wire drive system
  • Integrated MIG gun and ground clamp (no easy swapping in of new leads)
  • No gas MIG welding support
  • Uses arbitrary numbers for values around dial knobs (less precise)
  • No digital display or helpful functions

Overview

If you don’t plan to weld often and don’t care how the finished welds look, the Forney 140 FC-i is an inexpensive choice. While it doesn’t support a full MIG welding experience, it provides an excellent flux-cored arc at an attractive price.

The flux-cored welding process doesn’t create beautiful welds like the MIG process. However, it doesn’t require a shielding gas, and the equipment is lighter and less costly. Forney offers the best deal for a gasless 120V MIG welder, period. It’s a time-tested model that sits in the garage of thousands of weekend warriors, and most are pleased with its performance.

It’s incredibly light. You’ll never pull a muscle moving it around or break a sweat. Plus, its compact shape and all-corner rubber protection make it safe and easy to store with other tools in the back of your truck.

However, it has integrated leads, no digital display, a plastic wire feed system, and the infinitely adjustable knobs have arbitrary values printed around them. So, while cheaper than the Eastwood and YesWelder models, the Forney 140 FC-i is significantly inferior in some vital areas.


4. Klutch MP230SiDV 120v Multi-Process MIG Welder

Klutch MP230SiDV 120v Multi-Process MIG Welder
  • Multi-process machine
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Large LCD screen with intuitive menu
  • Automatic and manual settings
  • Numerous functions for improved arc control
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • 200A maximum output at 20% duty cycle
  • Spool gun support

Pros

  • High build and arc quality
  • The Klutch is a Northern Tool brand with a 3-Year warranty
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Supports MIG, FCAW, TIG, and Stick welding processes
  • TIG foot pedal and spool gun are included
  • Affordable considering the quality and provided accessories
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Long leads
  • Large color display with an easy-to-navigate menu
  • Has functions like 2T/4T, inductance control, arc force, hot-start, spot time, etc.

Cons

  • Low duty cycle
  • It doesn’t officially support the E6010 electrode

Overview

Unlike the YesWelder MIG 205-DS, the Klutch MP230SiDV is a professional-grade, multi-process welder. However, it’s still relatively affordable considering everything included, from features to accessories. Plus, Klutch is a Northern Tool brand and comes with a 3-year warranty.

The Klutch MP230SiDV is a dual-voltage welder with a maximum output of 140A using a 120V outlet. Its duty cycle is slightly better than the Eastwood MIG 140. But, the 40% duty cycle at 90A output is still relatively low.

The Klutch’s LCD is one of the best on the market. It’s similar to displays found on the ESAB Rebel units and the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210, which are significantly more expensive.

Additionally, it includes a myriad of functions for productivity and arc control. For example, the inductance setting lets you modify the bead’s profile, arc force and hot-start modify the responsiveness of stick electrodes, VRD is an advanced safety feature that prevents electric shock, and spot time and 2T/4T modes improve productivity.

The TIG torch, foot pedal, and spool gun are included, making this professional-grade multi-process welder a bargain. You are unlikely to find a better deal elsewhere.


5. Hobart Handler 140 120v MIG Welder

Hobart Handler 140 120v MIG Welder
  • Transformer-core for maximum longevity
  • Portable
  • Fixed 5-point voltage output
  • Best cast aluminum wire feed of all welders on our list
  • 140A maximum output with a 20% duty cycle at 90A output
  • Hobart’s industrial 5/3/1 warranty
  • Made in the USA

Pros

  • Exceptional build and arc quality
  • Transformer-based for long life
  • Tried and tested model
  • Portable
  • Built-in contactor and self-resetting thermal overload protection
  • Patented, 3-groove drive roll for easy wire switching
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Long leads

Cons

  • Very short duty cycle
  • Integrated ground clamp
  • Requires manual polarity switch inside the unit
  • Heavy at 57 lbs
  • No digital display or useful functions
  • It doesn’t support a spool gun

Overview

If you prefer older, transformer-based welders, the Hobart Handler 140 is a tried and tested welder you should consider. It’s portable, but it takes some effort to move around due to its 57 lbs. body.

This added weight translates to a longer lifespan and reliability. But, old transformer-based units like the Handler 140 don’t have any advanced functions for arc control. Plus, its duty cycle is the lowest in our review. The mere 20% duty cycle at 90A output is a bare minimum. Hobart should upgrade this model or at the very least remove the “high duty cycle” from their marketing (read my full review on the Hobart 140 here).

The fixed five-voltage settings are good enough for hobbyists. But, virtually all newer welders use infinite adjustability, which offers far better arc control.

The welder’s integrated ground clamp and manual polarity switchover are not user-friendly. Even cheap welders nowadays use standardized DINSE connectors, like YesWelder for example.


6. Lincoln Electric 120v Easy MIG 140

Lincoln Electric 120v Easy MIG 140
  • Transformer-core for long lifespan
  • Portable
  • 140A maximum output with a 20% duty cycle at 90A output
  • Pre-set 4-point voltage settings
  • Angled cast aluminum wire drive system
  • Supports a spool gun
  • 3-Year warranty

Pros

  • Excellent build and arc quality
  • Angled wire drive for easier wire feeding and installation
  • Transformer-core for maximum longevity
  • Long leads
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Heavy at 50 lbs
  • Integrated ground clamp
  • Requires manually switching the wires inside the unit to change polarity
  • Only 4 pre-set voltage settings
  • Very short duty cycle
  • No digital display or any advanced functions
  • Spool gun sold separately

Overview

The Lincoln Electric Easy MIG 140 differs from the Hobart Handler 140 in a few ways. But the most significant difference is this Lincoln welder supports a spool gun, allowing you to weld aluminum. Other than that, it’s slightly lighter than Hobart’s unit and has an angled wire drive.

However, most of the other differences are negative. It has fewer voltage settings, a shorter warranty, and lower build and arc qualities.

If you are looking for a portable, transformer-based 120V MIG welder with spool gun support, the Lincoln Easy MIG 140 is the best choice. But, if you don’t need to weld aluminum, the Hobart Handler 140 is better across the board.

That said, please do consider the Eastwood MIG 140. We know that some people prefer transformer-based welders for longevity. But, Eastwood offers a 3-years warranty, prices it similarly, and its advanced inverter provides a far better experience than old transformer-core welders. While YesWelder and similar hobbyist-grade brands can’t match Hobart’s and Lincoln’s longevity, the Eastwood or the Klutch can.


How to Choose Your 120V MIG Welder – A Buyer’s Guide

Don’t worry; we won’t bore you to death with unnecessary details about MIG welders. But, if you are new to welding, there may be a thing or two you can learn from our concise buyer’s guide. Below, we explain the critical features and functions you should know to help you choose a welder that suits your needs.

Are 120V Welders Any Good?

Yes, 120V MIG welders are good. But, they work best when you use the brand and model for tasks it’s designed to handle. For example, the YesWelder MIG 205-DS won’t satisfy a heavy-duty user, while the Klutch MP230SiDV will.

How Thick Can a 120V MIG Welder Weld?

A 120V MIG welder can weld up to about 3/16 in. thick mild steel in a single pass. But, this depends on the amperage and voltage output of the unit. Some welders can weld a bit thicker, like the Hobart Handler 140, rated for 1/4 in. thick steel.

Features To Look For In Your 120V Welder

  • Dual-voltage – It’s better to have the higher 220V output available than to be limited to 120V input only
  • Digital display – Welders with displays are significantly easier to use and learn on
  • Spool gun support – If you want to weld aluminum, a spool gun is required
  • Wire drive system – Plastic wire drives are inferior to metal systems. Additionally, an angled wire drive allows easier installation and smoother wire feeding
  • Transformer vs. inverter core – Transformer for longevity, inverter for portability and digital functions
  • Functions – Inductance control, arc-force, hot start, run in, burn back, 2T/4T, spot timer, and other functions improve your control over the arc and your productivity
  • Multi-process vs. single process welders – Owning multiple single process welders is a safer way to go because if one breaks, you backup welders. However, it’s far more cost-effective to purchase a single multi-process welder. Plus, it’s easier to transport just one machine instead of several

Wrapping Up

A 120V input MIG welder can do a great job with thinner gauge metal. But, you should choose your welder depending on your workload.

If you are a hobbyist, the YesWelder or Eastwood welders on our list are the best choices. They are affordable, and both excel in their categories. The YesWelder MIG-205DS provides far more features, while the Eastwood MIG 140 has a better warranty and build quality.

But, if you are a more demanding user, consider the Klutch MP230SiDV. The multi-process capability, LCD, a plethora of included functions, high build quality, and a 3-year warranty make it a bargain at a price slightly above $1000.

Related MIG Guides

Best Gasless MIG Welders

Best MIG Welders with Spool Gun Included

Best MIG Welders for Welding 1/2″ Steel

Dual Voltage MIG Welders – Best Picks

MIG Welders for Aluminum – Best Picks

250 Amp MIG Welders – Best Picks

Author: Garrett Strong

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I'm the owner of MakeMoneyWelding.com. Welding really struck a chord with me, and I’ve been passionately doing it for almost 9 years now. I recently got an AWS qualification to advance my skills. Now, I have decided to help others to learn so I released a MIG welding course to help beginners learn fast.

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