Best MIG Welder with Spool Gun (in 2022)

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It is not enough for a MIG welder to support a spool gun.

The spool gun must have adequate quality and provide sufficient shielding gas coverage to prevent black soot, porosity, and other aluminum welding issues.

In this article, you’ll learn about the best MIG welders with a spool gun for different budgets.

Not everyone requires costly, professional equipment. So, we compiled our list with various users’ needs in mind.


A Quick Comparison

Product
Image Product Details
Best bargain MIG welder with a spool gun
Eastwood MIG 180
Eastwood MIG 180

Dual-Voltage Input

IGBT Inverter Technology

Portable

Best budget MIG welder with a spool gun
YesWelder 250PRO-SG
YesWelder 250PRO-SG

Feature-rich

220V input voltage

Multi-process welder

Best durable MIG welder and spool gun
Hobart IronMan 240
Hobart IronMan 240

Transformer-based

280A output

Made in the USA

Best priced professional multi-process welder
Klutch MP230SiDV
Klutch MP230SiDV

Multi-process welder

Dual-voltage input

IGBT inverter-based

Best professional multi-process welder
Lincoln POWER MIG 210 MP
Lincoln POWER MIG 210 MP

Dual-voltage input

IGBT inverter-based

Multi-process welder

Best portable transformer MIG welder
Hobart Handler 190
Hobart Handler 190

Transformer-based

Portable

Made in the USA

Best MIG Welder with Spool Gun Reviews

Let’s begin with the best bargain welder and spool gun combo. This product will get the job done for many people. But for more demanding users, we also review higher quality welders later on.

1. Eastwood MIG 180 with Spool Gun

Eastwood MIG 180 with Spool Gun
  • 120/240V Input
  • The latest IGBT inverter technology outputs a stable arc
  • 2T/4T and tack welding modes
  • Lightweight and portable at 25.3 lbs
  • 180A maximum output with a 60% duty cycle at 130A
  • Tweco-style MIG gun consumables
  • Standard DINSE connectors
  • 3-Year warranty

Pros

  • Excellent arc quality for the money
  • Recently updated IGBT inverter
  • Excellent build quality
  • Cast aluminum wire drive system
  • Infinite adjustability for voltage and wire speed
  • Multiple valuable features like 2T/4T
  • Easy polarity switchover for the flux-cored welding process
  • Tack welding works great for sheet metal
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Spool gun and an aluminum wire spool are included
  • Straightforward setup
  • USA brand

Cons

  • No digital display
  • Duty cycle on the low end

Overview

The Eastwood MIG 180 is the best low-cost MIG welder with a spool gun. Eastwood manufactures in the USA and has a long, reputable history. Their machines have a good combination of power, build quality, and features at an affordable price.

The included spool gun has a robust plastic body and a nozzle that provides adequate shielding gas coverage. Hobart’s spool gun, which we’ll see later in the article, performs better but at a higher price. So, Eastwood does a good job, especially given its affordable price.

With a maximum output of 180 amps, you can weld up to 1/4 in. thick aluminum. The YesWelder MIG 250 has the advantage (see the review below) If you must weld thicker. Additionally, Eastwood’s duty cycle of 30% at 180A can’t handle high-volume welding, so we recommend it for hobbyists and light fabrication (read my full Eastwood MIG 180 review here).

The Eastwood MIG 180 doesn’t include a digital display, which is a shame. The display would make it even more straightforward to use. But, the included 2T/4T and tack welding features are convenient and improve productivity.


2. YesWelder 250PRO-SG Spool Gun Compatible

YesWelder 250PRO-SG Spool Gun Compatible
  • Multi-process unit
  • Digital display with intuitive menu
  • IGBT inverter-based
  • Loaded with useful functions like 2T/4T, inductance control, burnback, etc.
  • 250A output at 60% duty cycle
  • Lightweight
  • Standard DINSE plugs and Euro-style MIG gun connection
  • Synergic MIG (auto-settings)

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • The most feature-rich welder at its price
  • Supports MIG, FCAW, Lift TIG, and stick welding processes
  • Adequate arc quality
  • Automatic and manual settings
  • Large digital display with excellent contrast
  • Colossal power output with a long duty cycle
  • Infinitely adjustable settings with a micro voltage modification
  • Cast aluminum wire drive system

Cons

  • Slightly lower build quality than the Eastwood MIG 180
  • Spool gun sold separately
  • The wire drive system is challenging to access
  • It doesn’t work with 120V; it supports 220V only
  • No handy settings chart
  • TIG torch and gas regulator for MIG/TIG sold separately

Overview

The 250PRO-SG is one of YesWelder’s most powerful welders. It’s dirt cheap, considering all of the included features. YesWelder manufactures and sells hobbyist-grade welding equipment. So, the 250PRO-SG wouldn’t survive in a professional environment. However, its features and low price separate it from competing models.

The spool gun comes separately (purchased here), but when you add the costs, it’s still a great deal. YesWelder’s spool gun is 13-feet long and has a similar quality to Eastwood’s model. However, the Eastwood option is aggressively priced. Since Eastwood includes the spool gun, the Eastwood unit is cheaper than buying both the YesWelder 250PRO-SG and a separate spool gun.

On the other hand, YesWelder’s 250 amps are a significant advantage for welding aluminum. It won’t struggle to keep the puddle wet, and its 60% duty cycle will have you welding for a long time on those long welds and big projects.

The large display and numerous included functions make this YesWelder unit a great choice for beginners. It’s inexpensive but lets you experience high-end features like inductance control, burnback, 2T/4T, hot start, etc. Plus, the 250PRO-SG supports basic TIG and stick welding processes. While it won’t handle an E6010 electrode or output AC TIG, it’s handy to have these processes available.


3. Hobart IronMan 240 With SpoolRunner 200 Spool Gun

Hobart IronMan 240 With SpoolRunner 200 Spool Gun
  • Transformer-based for ultimate longevity
  • 280 amps maximum output with 60% duty cycle at 200A
  • Integrated running gear
  • Up to 700 IPM wire feed speed
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Angled cast aluminum wire drive system
  • Intuitive control panel

Pros

  • Hobart’s flawless arc quality
  • Minimal spatter
  • Immense power output easily welds aluminum
  • High wire feed speed fills joint gaps quickly
  • Infinite adjustability
  • Integrated running gear supports a gas tank
  • Spool gun rated for 200A unlike others
  • 15-feet leads for MIG and spool gun
  • Simple to use
  • Supports up to 45lbs wire spools
  • Made in the United States
  • A successor to the famous Ironman 230
  • Reversible drive rolls
  • 5/3/1 Hobart’s warranty

Cons

  • Heavy and difficult to move
  • Arbitrary numbers for voltage and wire speed control
  • Requires a 240V receptacle
  • It supports only basic features
  • Missing a digital display
  • The ground clamp is 5 ft. shorter than the MIG gun
  • Not enough accessories included
  • The MIG gun could be better at this price

Overview

The Hobart Ironman 240 doesn’t have advanced functions, but it’s the most robust welder in our review. Hobart designed it for professionals and hobbyists with longevity in mind, and they manufacture their equipment in the United States to the highest standards. Plus, the transformer core ensures that you’ll pass down the Ironman 240 to your grandchildren.

The included “SpoolRunner 200” spool gun is the best in our review, and it’s rated for 200A at 60% duty cycle. For example, Lincoln’s Magnum Pro, which we’ll see later in the article, is rated at 130A with a pathetic 30% duty cycle. By comparison, the Eastwood and YesWelder spool guns are subpar and can’t compete with Hobart’s.

The Hobart’s Ironman costs more than other welders on our list. However, the 280 amps of output melts aluminum like butter, even thick sections. But, there are caveats to the Hobart Ironman 240.

Weighting almost 190 lbs, the Ironman 240 is difficult to move. Additionally, it requires a minimum 240V input. So, if you only have 120V in a home setting, you must install a 240V outlet.

The control panel is very intuitive. But we expect a digital display at such a high price, so its omission is glaring. Additionally, there aren’t any useful functions like 2T/4T or arc modifying settings like inductance control.


4. Klutch MP230SiDV with Spool Gun

Klutch MP230SiDV with Spool Gun
  • Uses IGBT inverter technology
  • Large LCD color display
  • A plethora of included functions for arc control
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Multi-process welder; MIG, FCAW, TIG, and stick welding processes
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 200A maximum output at 20% duty cycle

Pros

  • Uses IGBT inverter technology
  • Large LCD color display
  • A plethora of included functions for arc control
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Multi-process welder; MIG, FCAW, TIG, and stick welding processes
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 200A maximum output at 20% duty cycle

Cons

  • Low duty cycle
  • No official support for the E6010 electrode

Overview

The Klutch MP230SiDV is a multi-process welder with spool gun support (comes included), and it’s designed for professionals. Klutch is a Northern Tool brand. Their tools are priced in the “middle of the pack” but have a good build quality and a 3-year warranty. Unlike the YesWelder’s multi-process welder, the Klutch’s unit can handle heavy-duty work, and unlike the Eastwood MIG 180, it has many professional features.

Klutch makes a good spool gun. But it falls short of Hobart’s SpoolRunner since its welder/spool gun combo handles 160A of output at a 35% duty cycle. Their specs are decent for most professionals, but consider a higher-rated model if you make long welds on aluminum.

That said, this is a great welder for the price. The four included welding processes perform well, and each has numerous functions to improve your weld quality and productivity. It’s hard to ask for more considering the low cost and 3-year warranty with an included TIG foot pedal and spool gun.

The Klutch MP230SiDV has a large LCD with an excellent menu structure. Everything is easy to access, and you probably won’t even need to consult the manual. But if you do need some guidance, the manual covers everything in detail.


5. Lincoln POWER MIG 210 MP with Magnum PRO 100SG Spool Gun

Lincoln POWER MIG 210 MP with Magnum PRO 100SG Spool Gun
  • 120V/230V input
  • Large color display with intuitive menu
  • Numerous useful functions
  • IGBT inverter-based, lightweight
  • Multi-process unit; MIG, FCAW, TIG, and MMA welding processes
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Exceptional build quality
  • Maximum output of 200A at 25% duty cycle

Pros

  • Stable, spatter-free arc
  • The best build quality of all inverter-based units in our review
  • Lincoln Electric is one of the best brands in the welding industry
  • Durable spool gun
  • Angled cast aluminum wire drive
  • Large color display
  • Intuitive controls; very simple to use
  • Spot timer, run-in speed, hot start, inductance control, and arc force functions included
  • Multi-language menu
  • Supports metric and imperial units
  • Multi-process machine
  • TIG foot pedal support
  • Dual-voltage input
  • Powerful dual-fans for heat dissipation
  • Lightweight at 40 lbs
  • 3-Year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • TIG torch and foot pedal not included
  • Spool gun’s duty cycle is low for this price
  • Low duty cycle for the welder
  • E6010 electrode is not officially supported

Overview

The Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP is the most expensive welder on our list. However, it combines portability, longevity, and excellent arc quality while including many useful functions. Lincoln Electric designed this model for light fabricators and hobbyists. The Power MIG would have been perfect for heavy-duty shop use if it only had a longer duty cycle.

That said, the top-of-the-line arc stability and included functions let you make professional-grade welds. The included Magnum PRO 100SG spool gun is well made and stacks dimes nicely. But it also suffers from a low duty cycle rating. So, the Power MIG is best suited for professionals who weld on the go and have a heavy-duty welder back at the shop when needed.

Thanks to the big color display and optimized menu, you can easily access all functions. Changing settings like inductance control, arc-force, spot timer, and others for each included welding process is easy and fast.

Lincoln Electric also focused on productivity in its product design. So, the Power MIG 210 MP is easy to set up and use. The angled wire drive system allows effortless wire installation, the DINSE connectors make switching polarity a breeze, and the integrated consumables compartment provides quick-access storage.


6. Hobart Handler 190

Hobart Handler 190
  • Transformer-based MIG welder for increased longevity
  • 7-voltage selections
  • Portable
  • Patented 3-groove drive roll for easy wire switching
  • Sturdy plastics and thick sheet metal body
  • 190A maximum output with 30% duty cycle at 130A
  • Hobart’s 5/3/1 industrial warranty

Pros

  • Excellent arc and build quality
  • Simple wire switchover
  • High-quality spool gun
  • Everything is included
  • A built-in contactor keeps wire electrically “cold” before welding
  • Infinitely adjustable wire feed speed
  • 700 IPM maximum wire speed
  • Portable
  • Long leads
  • Made in the United States
  • Industrial warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low duty cycle
  • Preset, fixed voltage settings
  • Poor ground clamp
  • No support for household voltage; 230V input only
  • Heavy at 68 lbs
  • No digital display
  • No advanced functions for arc control and productivity

Overview

If you want a portable welder, but prefer transformer-based machines for their tried and true longevity, the Hobart Handler 190 offers the best of both worlds. However, while mobile, you can certainly break a sweat carrying it due to its 68 lbs core unit. Plus, it doesn’t offer any of the advanced functions found in digital inverter welders.

The Handler 190 is proudly made in the USA and conforms to the same production standards as the more expensive Ironman 240. The 5-year warranty on the transformer and 3-year coverage of electronics fit the price and Hobart’s reputation. So, longevity-wise, you are covered.

The included SpoolRunner 100 spool gun is well made and provides pretty good shielding gas coverage. You may experience some black soot, but overall, the welds are clean and penetrate deeply.

The Hobart Handler 190 is designed for farm projects, hobbyists, car body restoration, and light shop use. It’s a time-tested welder, but it falls short of many new competing models.

The 7-voltage fixed points are not as good as the infinite adjustability provided by other models in our review. It doesn’t have a digital display, which at this price is unacceptable. On top of that, it only supports a 230V input. However, the more expensive Hobart Handler 210 MVP supports the regular 115V home voltage.


MIG Welder And Spool Gun Buyer’s Guide

It might sound obvious, but you need to know some basics when shopping for a MIG welder/spool gun combo. You want the combination that best suits your needs. An experienced welder probably doesn’t need any guidance. But, since many hobbyists want or need to weld aluminum, we’ve included this guide if it’s your first time shopping for a MIG welder and/or a spool gun.

These are the crucial aspects of a MIG welder:

  • Amperage output: Aluminum dissipates heat quickly, requiring higher amperage than steel to keep the puddle liquid. So, Hobart’s Ironman 240 is a much better choice than their Handler 190 model, for example. The higher the amperage output, the deeper the penetration, and the thicker you can weld.
  • Duty cycle: Determines how long you can weld in a 10-minute window before the welder needs to cool for the remainder of the interval. For example, a welder with a duty cycle of 60% at 250A can weld for 6 minutes at 250 amps output and must rest for the remaining 4 minutes.
  • Inverter vs. Transformer: Transformer-based welders are more durable. However, inverters typically support far more functions and weigh drastically less.
  • Voltage Input: Dual voltage is always preferred, especially for home hobbyists.
  • Arc Modifying Functions: Professional-grade welders can significantly tailor the bead width, penetration depth, arc length, and arc stability. So, settings like inductance value, run-in, burnback, arc force, and hot start are always welcome.
  • Other Features: High-end welders often provide features to improve workflow efficiency. So, a well-designed menu structure on a large LCD and features like 2T/4T improve your productivity.

That was a quick overview of MIG welders in general. But let’s now focus on the spool guns. Since it’s central to your work, you should understand some basics.

Can Any MIG Welder Use a Spool Gun?

In short, no.

Many MIG welders have no spool gun support, especially hobbyist-grade units. A MIG welder must include a spool gun connection and a button to switch to spool gun mode.

It is possible to convert a regular MIG welder to use a spool gun, but you must be an adept electrician.

It’s a total nightmare to sync two different motor speeds for wire feeding with varying voltage requirements from the power source (welder).

So, it’s not worth anyone’s time or energy. Plus, there is no way to know how reliable a MacGyvered solution will be.

Are All Spool Guns Compatible?

Unfortunately, all spool guns are not compatible with every MIG welder. Manufacturers design spool gun models with slightly different connectors and voltage requirements.

Sometimes not even the spool guns and welders from the same brand are compatible.

For example, Lincoln’s Magnum Pro 100SG spool gun with a 4-pin connector works with the Power MIG 210 MP, but it’s not supported by the Power MIG 140 MP.

Try to Buy a Spool Gun Package If Available

If you know that you need a spool gun, it’s usually cost-effective to get a MIG unit that includes a spool gun. Some brands offer their MIG welders in two versions, with or without a spool gun. It’s almost always more expensive to purchase a welder and a spool gun separately than a package that includes both.

Conclusion

We reviewed the best spool gun compatible MIG welders and presented the best models for each category.

YesWelder and Eastwood are not as “professional” grade as Hobart, Lincoln, and Klutch. But, for hobbyists, either satisfies most aluminum welding needs. Eastwood does offer a better build quality than YesWelder at the cost of included features. So, you can choose between these two light work options based on your needs.

If you are a demanding user, you should consider which professional welder suits your needs. We would suggest that you scroll back to the reviews and give them another look.

Hobart offers excellent transformer-based machines, but they don’t have advanced functions. The Lincoln and Klutch welders are portable and provide numerous features that improve your productivity and weld quality. So, consider your needs and select your welder accordingly.

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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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