The Eastwood 250 MIG welder is a bargain among the most powerful consumer-grade MIG machines.
Yes, some competing welders offer more power, but their price is disproportionally higher, making them overly expensive for most people.
Eastwood’s unit provides excellent build quality and many useful features at a fair price. In this article, you’ll learn about its pros, cons, and if this is a welder for your shop.
|Output Current Type||DC|
|Amperage Output||50A –250A|
|Duty Cycle||60% at 250A|
|Weldable Materials||Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum|
|Weldable Mild Steel Thickness (Single-pass)||Up to 1/2 in.|
|Wire Feed Speed||80 – 530 IPM|
|Accepted Wire Sizes||.023″ / .045″ Steel wire|
.030″ / .045″ Flux-core wire
.030″ / .035″ Aluminum wire
|Price||Best Price Here|
- Performance: 4.5/5
Directly competing with pricey brands like Hobart and Miller, this Eastwood’s welder does a great job. While its arc quality is slightly less than the far more expensive “top” brands, it beats all in its price range.
- Power: 4.5/5
Having 250A of output power, this machine is only a bit less powerful than the most powerful welders in the consumer space. However, Its duty cycle of 60% at 250A, which is better than even the most expensive machines.
- Features: 4.5/5
The Eastwood 250A MIG welder offers some features the competing models don’t. But it also misses a few, too. Even so, it supports all the essential features professionals need.
- Portability: 5/5
This unit uses the latest MOSFET inverter technology, making it almost five times lighter than the competition. This welder is very portable, considering the amount of welding power it provides.
- Price: 5/5
There isn’t a better priced welder in the high amperage category. Thanks to its professional arc quality and durability, it provides the best price-to-quality ratio.
- Manufacturer support: 5/5
Eastwood is a USA-based company with decades of experience. Their support is always available and quick to respond. They also have a lot of material online to help you get started. Plus, their instruction manuals are very detailed, rivaling those ESAB includes with their units.
Overall Verdict: 4.5/5
Being one of the best-built, high-output welders with a more than reasonable price makes for an excellent choice for people looking to weld thick metal on a budget. The only high-power welders better than this Eastwood are much more expensive, so it’s one of the best bargains around.
- High-quality build
- A lot of welding power
- Immense duty cycle – one of the best in the industry
- Latest MOSFET inverter tech (recently updated)
- Easy to set up and use
- Infinite adjustability knobs
- Native spool gun support for welding aluminum
- Dual voltage input which is very rare with high amperage output welders
- USA brand
- Availability of spare parts
- All metal wire drive system
- Good MIG welding torch
- Runs off of generator without issues
- 3-year warranty
- Short leads
- The provided ground clamp is a bit light for 250A
- No digital display
What To Know Before Buying The Eastwood 250 Amp MIG Welder
The Eastwood 250A MIG doesn’t have many shortcomings. However, there are a few areas Eastwood could improve. Keep in mind that the “flaws” described below are expected with a welder competing with machines sold at twice its price.
So, let’s dive into some things you should know to help you decide if this MIG welder suits your needs.
No Digital Display
Today, many inverter MIG welders on the market provide digital displays. For example, YesWelder’s MIG Pro 250A has a digital display, making the output adjustments easier. However, Eastwood’s superior quality over other inverters on the market is probably why there aren’t many fancy features included.
To keep costs down, Eastwood has focused on essentials.
On the other hand, a direct competitor in quality, Hobart Ironman 240, also misses a display. Some welders prefer analog controls because there are less sensitive electronics on the front panel. But many people find having the display helpful. So while subjective, this is something to keep in mind.
Short Leads and a Weak Ground Clamp
The Eastwood MIG 250A is a professional welder, but the leads are less than 10 feet long. The 8 feet length provided for the MIG gun lead is sufficient for hobbyist applications but not for complex jobs.
Considering that this welder competes with top-notch MIG welders, it should have included at least 13-foot leads. The Miller’s Millermatic 252 and Hobart’s Ironman 240 offer 15 feet long leads.
The supplied ground clamp from Eastwood is not what I’d expect for 250A of current. It’s not thick enough, and if you plan on welding often with maximum output, you should upgrade it. Luckily, Hobart’s 400-amp T-Style brass ground clamp is cheap and will last for decades.
How The Eastwood 250 MIG Welder Stacks Up
Compared with the industry’s top MIG brands like Miller and Hobart, this Eastwood welder excels as a value choice in the high output category.
The Millermatic 252 and Hobart Ironman 240 are fantastic machines and offer slightly better arc quality than the Eastwood. However, they are significantly more expensive. Still, thanks to a very similar build and arc quality, it only makes sense to compare the Eastwood unit to these high-end welders, even though they are sold in a much higher price bracket.
While the Eastwood doesn’t provide a digital display like the Millermatic 252, it does have actual units printed on the front panel, unlike the Hobart unit, which uses arbitrary numbers.
Hobart’s Ironman outputs 30A more than Eastwood’s 250A MIG, while Millermatic 252 provides 50A of extra power. Still, they are both transformer welders, unlike Eastwood’s inverter model. That’s why they weigh four times more than the Eastwood, making them extremely difficult to move. The inbuilt wheels are helpful, but only to a degree. You can’t easily take these welders on-site if needed.
Another thing to keep in mind is the input voltage. Eastwood accepts 120V and 240V, while the two competing models work with a minimum of 208V.
Eastwood is a competent brand just like Hobart or Miller, thanks to decades of experience. The build and arc quality combined with a 3-year warranty makes it an excellent choice for people looking to save some money while still getting a premium welder.
|Eastwood MIG 250A||Hobart Ironman 240||Miller Millermatic 252|
|Duty Cycle||60% at 250A||40% at 250A||40% at 250A|
|Wire Speed Range||80-530 IPM||50-700 IPM||50-700 IPM|
|Weight||46 lbs||186 lbs||205 lbs|
Best Features of the Eastwood 250 Amp MIG Welder
The Eastwood 250A MIG focuses on the essential features needed for professional work. Offering excellent arc performance and a few helpful features, this model supports most of what a beginner or working professional needs.
So, let’s review the best aspects of this welder to help you understand its true abilities.
With its stable arc and minimal spatter, the Eastwood 250A MIG is an excellent choice for professional use. Typically, Eastwood welders are aimed at hobbyists due to power limitations. But their arc is smooth and easy to control. Combine that with the welding power of this model, and you get a welder ready for fabrication and light industrial use.
This welder may also be attractive to beginners due to its affordability. But its arc quality makes it an excellent choice for new welders. Learning to MIG weld with an erratic arc is never a good idea. It will take you some time to re-learn it all again when you use professional equipment with a quality arc.
The most significant selling point of Eastwood’s model is its amperage output. Its 250A of welding power can weld up to 1/2 in. mild steel in a single pass. Combine this with its 60% duty cycle at 250A, and you have a serious welder meant for professional use.
A wire feed speed of up to 530 IPM allows you to rapidly deposit metal into beveled grooves. Plus, you can easily weld open root welds and achieve excellent penetration with this much power and a fast filler metal deposition rate.
The sturdy plastics on the front and sheet metal housing are the centerpieces of a well-built machine. You can use it on-site or in the welding shop, and you don’t have to be overly careful with it, But keep in mind that it doesn’t have a rugged build for extreme conditions.
The competing Miller and Hobart models we discussed before have a better wire drive design because they use the angled cast aluminum systems. The Eastwood includes a cast aluminum drive as well, but it’s more basic in design. Even so, Eastwood’s drive system is better than what most other similar priced MIG welders provide. So, the only way to get a better quality build is by paying twice the price.
The unit has large openings on the front for sufficient airflow and a single fan on the back to keep it cool. The front panel houses two infinitely adjustable knobs for the wire feed speed and voltage control. They are made from quality plastics with a great response – not too flimsy or tight. Besides the knobs, the front panel also includes two LED lights for power and overload alert and a MIG/Spool gun switch.
The included Triafimet ERGOPLUS24 MIG gun is excellent at this price point. The gun features a flexible ball and socket at the bottom of the torch where the lead connects. This improves the durability by allowing the cable better flexion while reducing the tension. This MIG torch is rated at 250A, while the Hobart Ironman is shipped with a 200A rated MIG gun. Many welders include torches with a lower rating than what the machine is capable of, which causes the gun to overheat too fast if welding at a higher amp output.
MIG Welding Aluminum
The Eastwood 250A MIG supports a spool gun for welding aluminum, which is expected at this price. However, thanks to the beautiful arc of this welder, MIG welding aluminum with this Eastwood unit provides excellent results.
But even more than the arc quality, the 250A output is what makes this MIG welder a good choice for welding aluminum with a spool gun. Aluminum conducts heat much faster than steel, which means more heat input is required to start a weld and keep it going. That’s why more amperage is needed when welding aluminum.
If your machine doesn’t have enough amps, you can preheat the aluminum piece. But preheating can only help a little because preheating aluminum above 200F significantly impairs its mechanical properties. So, the only way to weld thicker pieces is with a powerful machine. This Eastwood model is an excellent choice for aluminum, thanks to its stable arc and 250A of output.
Quick Feed Wire Feature
A small feature many people overlook with this welder is Eastwood’s “Quick feed wire” button located inside the welder. Pressing this button feeds the wire through the gun without using shielding gas. This feature saves you some gas and money and makes feeding the wire for the first time welders easier.
- Eastwood 250A MIG
- Trafimet ERGOPLUS24 MIG torch with 8 ft. cable
- Ground clamp with 9.5 ft. cable
- Shielding gas regulator and a gas hose
- Additional contact tips 2 pcs of 0.030 in. and 0.040 in.
- 120/240 VAC adapter cord
- ER70S-6 steel MIG wire, 2lb, 0.030 in.
- 0.023 in. to 0.045 in. drive roller
- 8 in. wire spool adapter
- Handheld face shield
- Welding brush/hammer
- Contact tip wrench
- Instruction manual
Eastwood’s welders have earned a reputation as a value buy, offering most of what the well-known, “big” names do but at a significantly lower price.
However, unlike many other brands that try to capture the affordable equipment segment of the market, Eastwood provides top build and arc quality, too.
There aren’t many high output MIG welders, and there are even fewer if you want something that lasts.
The best brands in this category are Miller, Hobart, Lincoln, and Eastwood, with the Eastwood providing the best price-to-quality ratio.