6 Best MIG Welders for Aluminum (in 2022)

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Besides spool gun support, a quality MIG welder for aluminum should have adequate amperage output and the ability to achieve MIG spray transfer mode.

But finding the perfect aluminum-oriented MIG welder with these features involves hours of research…

So, we reviewed the best MIG welders for aluminum for various welding needs and compiled this list for you. Armed with this information, you can easily find the best MIG welder depending on your welding requirements, skill level, and budget.


A Quick Comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Best bargain MIG welder for aluminum
Eastwood 180
Eastwood 180

Dual-voltage input

Inverter-based

3-Year warranty

Best beginner MIG welder for aluminum
Yeswelder MIG-250 PRO
Yeswelder MIG-250 PRO

Feature-rich

Multi-process welder

Inverter-based

Best affordable multi-process MIG welder
Klutch MP230SiDV
Klutch MP230SiDV

Dual-voltage input

Feature-rich

3-Year warranty

Best portable MIG welder for aluminum
Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP
Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP

Inverter-based

Dual-voltage support

Multi-process welder

Best transformer-based MIG welder for aluminum
Hobart IronMan 240
Hobart IronMan 240

Transformer-based

280A output

Made in the USA

Best portable transformer-based MIG welder
Hobart Handler 190
Hobart Handler 190

Transformer-based

Portable

Made in the USA

Best MIG Welder for Aluminum Reviews

We focused on aluminum-friendly MIG welders with the best price-to-value ratios. So, the hobby-grade and professional machines we selected stand out as the best options in their price range. The welders on our list have substantial differences, which allows you to find the eight welder that provides what you need for your work.

1. Eastwood 180

Eastwood 180
  • Inverter-based and incredibly portable at just 26 lbs
  • Recently updated IGBT inverter technology
  • Generator-friendly
  • 2T/4T and tack modes
  • 120/240 input
  • 180A maximum output at 30% duty cycle

Pros

  • Stable, clean arc
  • Best deal for a MIG welder and a spool gun combo
  • Welds up to 1/4 in. aluminum
  • Great build quality
  • Dual voltage input
  • Adequate duty cycle for hobbyists
  • Tack welding mode for consistent, uniform tack welds
  • 4T mode allows welding without holding the MIG gun trigger
  • Latest IGBT technology
  • Cast aluminum wire drive
  • Light and portable
  • Everything included
  • 3-Year warranty

Cons

  • No digital display
  • Inadequate amperage output for welding thick aluminum

Overview

The Eastwood MIG 180 comes with a spool gun at a cut-rate price. Plus, it’s made by a reputable USA brand and includes a 3-year warranty.

The dual voltage support allows you to weld wherever the job takes you, especially since the Eastwood MIG 180 is also generator-friendly. You can weld up to 1/4 in. thick aluminum with the provided 180 amps. This is enough for most DIY projects and light shop work. But, if you need to weld thicker aluminum, please consider other welders in our review.

Tack welding mode is included, and it’s handy for sheet metal work. If welding thin aluminum, you’ll have first to tack weld everything together. Since aluminum expands from heat input significantly, the last thing you should do is input your heat unevenly. That’s why the tack welding setting is so beneficial. You can create consistent tack welds with the same heat input every time.

With its low weight, latest IGBT technology, decent duty cycle, dual-voltage input, 3-year warranty, included spool gun, and low price, the Eastwood MIG 180 is the best bargain MIG welder for small shops and hobbyists focused on aluminum.


2. Yeswelder MIG-250 PRO

Yeswelder MIG-250 PRO
  • High-contrast, large digital display
  • Loaded with useful functions for arc control
  • Inverter-based and portable
  • MIG/FCAW/TIG/MMA welder
  • Supports automatic and manual settings
  • 250A maximum output at 60% duty cycle

Pros

  • Excellent value for the money
  • Stable, crisp arc
  • Includes inductance control, arc force, wire burn back time, and 2T/4T settings
  • Besides MIG and flux-cored, it supports DC TIG and stick welding processes
  • Large display with intuitive menu
  • Weighs a meager 21.72 lbs
  • Long duty cycle
  • Decent build quality for the cost
  • 1-Year warranty

Cons

  • 220V input only, no support for 120V
  • While it outputs 250A, the manufacturer claims only 1/4 in aluminum welding capability
  • Accessing the wire feeding system is challenging because the sheet metal body partially covers it
  • Spool gun is sold separately

Overview

The YesWelder MIG-250 PRO is an excellent choice for beginners thanks to its intuitive menu, easy-to-read digital display, and a plethora of valuable features like automatic settings. But it is also a multi-process welder, so you can perform basic DC TIG and stick welding. If you are just starting, the YesWelder MIG-250 PRO will get you hands-on experience with more processes.

However, the spool gun is sold separately. While the YesWelder MIG-250 PRO is cheap considering the number of included functions, it doesn’t represent a great value like the Eastwood MIG 180. Both of these options are good for beginners and light shop use. But, YesWelder offers more features without the spool gun, while Eastwood has a longer warranty and a lower price.

Beginners will also benefit from YesWelder’s automatic settings, thanks to MIG synergic mode. The machine synchronizes the wire feeding speed with the voltage output to automatically provide the best results.

The YesWelder MIG-250 PRO supports 2T/4T, and you can use 4T mode to maximum capacity thanks to the extended duty cycle. This welder can output 250A for six minutes straight, which is rare at such a low price. You can save 10% with the discount code “WELDGURU10” that was found online.


3. Klutch MP230SiDV

Klutch MP230SiDV
  • Inverter-core, lightweight and portable
  • Large digital display with a well-organized menu
  • Includes many functions for professional welding
  • Multi-process machine
  • Automatic and manual settings
  • Up to 200A output with a 20% duty cycle

Pros

  • Excellent arc and build quality
  • Large, color LCD with intuitive menu
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Supports MIG, flux-cored, DC TIG, and stick welding processes
  • Inexpensive considering that it includes a spool gun, all leads, and a TIG foot pedal
  • Pro features like inductance control, wire run-in, hot start, and pre and post-flow gas settings
  • 2T/4T and spot timer support
  • VRD support for safe stick welding
  • Lightweight
  • 3-Year warranty

Cons

  • Low duty cycle

Overview

The Klutch MP230SiDV is an excellent MIG welder with only one flaw — it has a short duty cycle. If you are a professional who performs high-volume welding of thick aluminum, skip the Klutch. Otherwise, it’s a great budget alternative to the more powerful but pricey welders.

Klutch is a Northern Tool brand, and the MP230SiDV provides almost everything a professional needs. The large digital display with an intuitive menu lets you easily fine-tune everything from voltage to inductance and shielding gas flow times. Plus, the display quality matches the well-known ESAB Rebel’s LCD. But, this Klutch offering costs a fraction of Rebel’s price.

The most impressive aspect of the Klutch MP230SiDV is that everything is included. You get the spool gun, TIG/MIG/MMA torches, and the TIG foot pedal control. Many people have had great experiences with these Klutch machines. A low price coupled with a 3-Year warranty from a USA brand makes it a bargain for professionals.


4. Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP

Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 210 MP
  • Inverter-core, light, and portable
  • Supports MIG/FCAW/DC TIG/MMA welding processes
  • Large digital display
  • Includes numerous features for arc adjustability
  • Automatic and manual settings
  • 25% duty cycle at 200A output

Pros

  • Excellent build and arc quality
  • Works with 120 or 230V input
  • Large digital display allows intuitive use
  • Automatic settings can be manually fine-tuned
  • Quality spool gun included
  • Multi-process machine
  • Angled cast aluminum wire drive
  • Includes MIG inductance, spot timer, and wire run in modification
  • Arc force control
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Dual-fan system for heat dissipation
  • 3-Year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low duty cycle
  • Spool gun has a 90-day warranty
  • TIG torch and foot pedal are not included
  • Included MIG gun doesn’t match welder’s high price

Overview

If you need maximum quality and portability, the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210MP combines both well. It’s inverter-based and built to Lincoln’s high standards.

The Power MIG 210MP is a multi-process machine loaded with numerous valuable features. Some examples:

  • Large digital display
  • Automatic/manual settings
  • MIG inductance control
  • Wire run-in
  • Spot timer
  • Arc force
  • Hot start
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Angled cast aluminum wire feed system

Not surprisingly, the Lincoln Power MIG 210MP is quite expensive. It’s a USA brand welder assembled in Mexico by strict standards and has a 3-year warranty. Plus, the arc quality is fantastic, so it’s natural for this machine to cost more.

However, for the price, the MIG gun is not up to snuff. Plus, the TIG torch and foot control pedal are not included, and the duty cycle is too short. The Power MIG 210MP is marketed as a “beginner” welder for DIY, but it is capable of shop-grade welding, too. Unfortunately, Lincoln Electric limited its duty cycle to DIY work only. Still, the Power MIG 210MP will do great for professionals who need a portable, reliable MIG welder for aluminum.


5. Hobart IronMan 240

Hobart IronMan 240
  • Transformer-based, durable with maximum longevity
  • Professional-grade spool gun
  • Quick-change, reversible dual-drive rolls
  • Supports up to 45 lbs wire spools
  • Integrated wheels for easy movement
  • 60% duty cycle at 200A with up to 280A output

Pros

  • Exceptional build and arc quality
  • Made in the USA
  • Transformer-based for simplicity and maximum longevity
  • Quick change drive rolls ease wire switchover
  • Includes the best spool gun of all welders in our review
  • Up to 700 IPM wire feed speed
  • Long duty cycle
  • 280A output ensures sufficient heat for welding thick aluminum
  • Large wire spools supported
  • Fan-on-demand
  • Wire run-in provides a smooth arc start
  • Cast aluminum wire drive
  • Long leads
  • Very easy to use
  • 5-year warranty

Cons

  • The MIG gun could be better at this price
  • No digital display or any advanced functions
  • Infinite adjustability knobs use arbitrary values
  • No DINSE connectors, requires manual polarity rewiring inside the wire compartment
  • Not enough included accessories
  • Heavy at 186 lbs
  • 240V input only

Overview

The Hobart IronMan 240 is a transformer-based MIG welder with an excellent spool gun. The 280A output provides enough power to start the puddle when welding thick aluminum. Plus, Hobart’s SpoolRunner 200 spool gun provides complete shielding gas coverage.

Designed for demanding hobbyists and welding shops, the Ironman 240 was created as an affordable high-end welder. Essentially, it’s a stripped-down version of Millermatic 252. So, the Hobart Ironman lacks advanced features to keep the costs down but retains a high build quality. However, it’s expensive compared to the Eastwood MIG 180 or the Klutch MP230SiDV.

Unfortunately, the Ironman 240 doesn’t have a digital display or advanced functions like 2T/4T, tack welding, inductance control, or wire burnback time selection. Plus, it’s not portable. The main advantages of this Hobart’s model is its excellent build and arc quality. The welder is made in the USA, and Hobart offers a five-year warranty. So, if you run a welding shop and need a lot of power for thick aluminum, the Ironman 240 may be a good option.


6. Hobart Handler 190

Hobart Handler 190
  • Transformer-based for long life
  • Quick-change, reversible dual-drive rollers
  • Portable
  • High-quality spool gun
  • 7 voltage output settings
  • 30% duty cycle at 130A with a maximum output of 190A

Pros

  • Great build and arc quality
  • Made in the USA
  • Transformer-core ensures longevity
  • Up to 740 IPM wire feed speed
  • Durable spool gun
  • Quick-change roller system simplifies wire switching
  • Portable
  • Everything included
  • Cast aluminum wire drive
  • Hobart’s industrial 5/3/1 warranty

Cons

  • No digital display or advanced functions
  • Heavy at 68 lbs
  • 220-240V input only
  • Overpriced considering the lack of features
  • Fixed voltage selection instead of infinite adjustability
  • Changing polarity requires a manual rewiring of the leads inside the welder
  • It doesn’t include many accessories

Overview

If you prefer transformer-based welders, but need portability, the Hobart Handler 190 may be a solution. It’s a relatively old machine, far surpassed by competing models in many vital areas. But, it does offer superior build and arc quality.

The time-tested transformer core ensures longevity. Plus, it’s made in the USA by one of the largest, most-respected welding brands. And Hobart covers it with their industrial 5/3/1 warranty, so you are protected if something breaks.

However, the Hobart Handler 190 is overpriced, in our opinion. It has a scant duty cycle, fixed voltage selections, and doesn’t include advanced functions or a digital display. In comparison, the Eastwood MIG 180 offers a 3-year warranty at a much lower price, and while it’s not transformer-based, the Eastwood MIG 180 provides similar arc stability with far more features.

Additionally, since the Handler 190 doesn’t use standardized DINSE connectors, you must manually rewire the polarity inside the welder when you switch to FCAW. Since this is not a professional welder like the Ironman 240, this is a big issue. Also, it supports 220-240V input only. If you need a dual-voltage input, the Hobart Handler 210 is a better choice.


What to Look for in a MIG welder for Aluminum

The crucial aspects of a MIG welder for aluminum are high amperage output and wire feed speed.

Since aluminum conducts heat away from the pool rapidly, a MIG machine must input a lot of energy into the weld pool to keep the puddle liquid. With higher the wire feed speeds, more heat and molten filler can be transferred in the joint.

Additionally, consider the points below when making your machine choice:

  • A digital display makes setup easier, especially for beginners
  • Automatic settings help tremendously when welding aluminum. It’s difficult to tune your wire feed speed and voltage for the spray transfer necessary for welding this metal. If a welder supports automatic settings, you don’t have to do anything other than selecting the material thickness on the display
  • Inverter welders are far lighter than transformer-based machines
  • Transformer-core welders typically last longer
  • The duty cycle determines how long the welder can output the rated amperage in a 10-minute interval. For example, a 60% duty cycle at 200A means that the welder can output 200A for six minutes before cooling for the remaining 4 minutes
  • MIG inductance control lets you modify the weld bead profile
  • Spool gun quality impacts your aluminum weld quality. The Hobart Ironman 240 has the best spool gun in our review, followed by Lincoln, Klutch, and Eastwood

Can You Weld Aluminum With A Gasless MIG Welder?

You cannot weld aluminum with a gasless (flux-cored) MIG welder because FCAW is not suitable for aluminum. Such MIG welders are called “wire feeders” because they don’t support the use of a shielding gas. So, you can’t attach the 100% argon gas, which is a must for welding aluminum.

Conclusion

If you own a professional shop, the Hobart Ironman 240 is probably your best cost-effective solution. But, if you are a hobbyist who wants to spice up your DIY projects with aluminum, the Eastwood MIG 180 or the YesWelder MIG 250 are the most affordable.

Alternatively, if portability and high quality are a must, the Lincoln Power MIG and the Klutch MP230SiDV are great solutions. We recommend Klutch’s welder over Lincoln because of the enormous price difference. But, the Lincoln is a better known brand and likely to be more reliable.

Related reads

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Top Rated 120v MIG Welders

Top Rated 250 Amp MIG Welders

Top Rated Dual Voltage MIG Welders

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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