The Eastwood MP200i is a semi-professional multi-process welder with an emphasis on arc quality and ease of use.
This makes it ideal for hobbyist and light welding tasks.
It provides better quality than most in its price range, directly competing with some of the top multi-process units.
This article discusses its pros and cons and compares it to leading brands to help you decide if this welder is right for you.
|Output Current Type||DC|
|Amperage Output||MIG: 30-200ATIG: 30-170AStick: 30-170A|
|Duty Cycle||20% at 200A|
|Weldable Materials||Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum|
|Weldable Mild Steel Thickness (Single-pass)||Up to 3/8 in.|
|Accepted MIG Wire Sizes||.023″ / .035″ Steel wire|
.030″ / .045″ Flux-core wire
.030″ / .035″ Aluminum wire
|Price||Best Price Here|
- Performance: 4.5/5
The Eastwood MP200i arc quality is edged out by the top brands like Miller and Lincoln, which cost a lot more. But a beginner, hobbyist, or a standard welding shop will not be able to notice the difference, making this unit one of the better buys for your money.
- Power: 4.5/5
With its 200A of maximum output at 20% duty cycle, it provides a bit less power than the leading brands but still enough for most applications.
- Features: 4/5
It lacks advanced features like automatic spool gun detection and support for simultaneous TIG and MIG gas inputs, but it provides essentials needed by hobbyists and professionals alike.
- Portability: 5/5
Lighter than almost all multi-process welders on the market, the Eastwood MP200i is a perfect choice for welding on the go.
- Price: 5/5
Offering excellent arc and build quality, and essential features that perform well, this welder has an excellent price-to-quality ratio. It’s two times cheaper than the leading brands that offer features many users won’t need.
- Manufacturer support: 5/5
Eastwood has built a strong reputation as a USA brand with a long history. The provided 3-year warranty rivals Hobart, Miller, and Lincoln Electric, and Eastwood’s support quickly responds to issues.
Overall Verdict: 4.5/5
Considering the low price of the Eastwood MP200i and its high-quality build, this welder offers users excellent value. While it misses some top brands’ features, many people will do just fine without them. The bottom line is that this welder is priced fairly for what it offers, and it competes with far more expensive models.
- Excellent build quality
- Multi-process welder
- Dual-voltage input
- Infinite output adjustability
- Smooth, stable arc
- Lots of welding power
- Digital displays
- Built-in spot weld timer
- Everything included
- Recently updated IGBT inverter
- Lightweight and portable
- Native spool gun support
- Very good supplied TIG and MIG torches
- Good leads length
- Great user manual
- 3-year warranty
- Low duty cycle
- Basic DC TIG only without support for a foot pedal
What To Know Before Buying The Eastwood Elite MP200i
Considering the great quality included at such a low price, it’s hard to ask for more. But to help you understand the capabilities of this unit better, let’s review some of its limitations.
Low Duty Cycle
A duty cycle of 20% at a maximum output of 200A is not enough for a demanding professional. Welding thicker steel like 3/8 in. at that duty cycle is only possible for 2 minutes before letting the welder cool down for another 8 minutes.
So, a welding shop that does heavy-duty work daily needs a higher duty cycle than that. On the other hand, a hobbyist’s needs will be satisfied with a 20% duty cycle at 200A. DIY welders rarely need the maximum 200A output. When they do, the extended cooldown time won’t be a business bottleneck.
For comparison, the Hobart Multi-Handler 200 has an inferior duty cycle, 20% at 180A, and it’s significantly more expensive than this Eastwood model. The Miller Multimatic 215 offers the same as Eastwood, while Lincoln Power MIG 210 provides about 10% better duty cycle. So, Eastwood keeps up with the competition well. The low-duty cycle is just something to keep in mind. Multi-process welders are challenging to design, and even ESAB’s professional units struggle to provide high-duty cycles.
Basic DC TIG Without a Foot Pedal Support
This is the only essential feature that some MP200i users will miss. If you want to TIG weld with professional results, you need foot pedal support. It allows for real-time, fine amperage adjustments as you work with the arc over the joint.
The top brands we mentioned before all support a foot pedal. But they are much more expensive. However, the real kicker is they don’t include a foot pedal or the TIG torch. So, to TIG weld with the Hobart, Miller, and Lincoln units, their real price will get an additional bump of $500-$700 depending on what torch and pedal you buy.
Aside from not supporting the pedal, you should also know that the Eastwood MP200i provides only basic DC TIG welding. There aren’t any advanced settings available like shielding gas pre and post-flow time or pulse adjustments. To be fair, the competing models don’t offer these as well, but it’s something to keep in mind.
How The Eastwood Eastwood Elite MP200i Stacks Up
With those two “negatives” out of the way, let’s discuss how the Eastwood MP200i stacks up to other welders on the market.
In terms of arc and build quality, it competes with the top brands like Miller, Hobart, and Lincoln. Plus, it provides the same 3-year warranty. However, it’s priced significantly lower, and it’s even cheaper than the YesWelder’s MP200, which is covered near the end of the article.
But for now, let’s stick with the leading brands…
Miller Multimatic 215
Miller’s Multimatic 215 provides more welding power than Eastwood’s Elite MP200i. It also includes a color LCD screen, an angled cast aluminum drive system with excellent craftsmanship, and Miller’s smooth start feature for spatter-free MIG arc start. Perhaps the feature most professionals need is the two gas valves. Miller’s welder allows you to connect both TIG and MIG shielding gases simultaneously. But all of these features come at a very high price, and most people will not benefit from them.
Hobart Multi Handler 200
The Hobart’s Multi-Handler 200 is like a stripped-down version of Miller’s unit, lacking almost all of the professional features outlined above while remaining overpriced compared to Eastwood. But at least this model includes the TIG torch, unlike the Miller and Lincoln machines.
Lincoln Power MIG 210
The Lincoln Power MIG 210 has a slightly better duty cycle than Miller, Hobart, and Eastwood. But it doesn’t even include an input gas port for TIG, so you have to connect it directly to the torch. On the other hand, it has the best digital display and settings menu of all the welders we compared.
The Eastwood Elite MP 200i has a basic digital display and doesn’t include fancy features like Miller’s smooth start. But it has a significantly better price-to-quality ratio. By cutting costs and focusing on essentials, Eastwood satisfies the need of an average user while staying affordable. So unless your work requires the extra tech like foot pedal control for TIG and an additional gas solenoid valve, the Eastwood is a better choice.
|Eastwood MP200i||Millermatic 215||Lincoln Power MIG210|
|Amperage Output||MIG: 30-200A|
|MIG: max. 200A|
TIG: max. 175A
Stick: max. 175A
|Duty Cycle||20% at 200A||20% at 200A||25% at 200A|
|Dual Gas Input||❌||✅||❌|
|Foot Pedal Support||❌||✅||✅|
Best Features of the Eastwood Elite MP200i
While it lacks some advanced functions, the Eastwood Elite MP200i provides many of the essential features. The ones that are included impact your overall welding experience, and this is where Eastwood’s welder feels like a more expensive machine.
Thanks to the latest IGBT inverter technology, the Elite MP200i has a smooth and stable arc. Many low-priced inverter welders have an erratic arc and produce a lot of spatter and sparks. However, Eastwood’s inverters are well designed, and the output arc is almost on par with Hobart and Miller.
Good arc quality is the primary feature you should look for in a welder. It will make or break your welds, and if you are learning, it helps you develop your skills. It’s always better to learn with a machine whose arc is predictable and doesn’t cut out.
The infinitely adjustable knobs on the front panel provide the ability to fine-tune your arc, which means better quality beads. The two digital displays let you read the values quickly and adjust the voltage, wire feeding speed, and amperage in precise decimal increments.
Ease of Use
Most Eastwood welders are as straightforward as it gets, and this is no exception. The front panel is so intuitive that a beginner will understand everything without referring to the instruction manual. Still, if the need arises, the manuals Eastwood provides are some of the best in the industry. The illustrations and descriptions go above and beyond to explain even the basic stuff that’s “assumed” as known by most welders.
The wire feeding mechanism requires no tools to set up, and neither does changing the polarity for flux-cored welding. Switching between welding processes is done via a button switch on the front panel, and changing the leads is as simple as plugging and tightening a wing screw.
The Eastwood MP200i has a spot timer feature that many of its competitors are missing. This allows you to set how long the torch is energized. It removes human error from the equation, allowing you to make perfect, repeatable spot welds.
With a full sheet metal body and quality plastics on the front and back, the Elite MP200i is sturdy and rugged enough for real-world use. Protruding plastics on the sides give it the needed toughness. While it doesn’t offer an actual rugged body like the ESAB Rebel, it’s still better than other welders in its price range.
A cast aluminum housing accommodates the drive rolls, pressure adjuster, and tension arm into a compact design. The brass connector for the torch lead provides better electrical current conductivity, and the wire spool spindle and adapter are well made.
The included MIG gun is much better than the others you’ll typically get in this price range. The professional Trafimet ERGOPLUS 24 Tweco-style MIG torch is rated at a 60% duty cycle at 250A so that you can use it with a more powerful welder, too. While the WP-17v TIG torch is not professional-grade, it is better than the basic torch that other brands typically include and offers a decent welding experience.
- Eastwood Elite MP200i
- Trafimet ERGOPLUS 24, Tweeco Style MIG Torch, 10 feet lead
- WP-17v TIG Torch, 10 feet lead, and a 14 feet gas line
- Electrode Holder, 12.5 feet
- Ground Clamp, 10 feet
- Adapter Cord, 12 Ga., 3 feet, 120Volt 30 Amp Plug/NEMA 50R Receptacle
- Shielding Gas Regulator, and a 4.6 feet hose
- Spare 0.030 Contact Tips
- #6 (3/8 in.) installed gas nozzle
- #5 (5/16 in.) gas nozzle
- #4 (1/4 in.) gas nozzle
- Short Black Cap (Installed)
- Long Black Cap
- Collet Body, 1/8 in. (Installed)
- 1/16 in. x 6 in. gray tungsten electrodes
- Solid MIG wire, 2lb spool, 0.030 in.
- E6013 Welding Electrodes, 1/8 in.
An Alternative To Consider – YesWelder MP200
The Eastwood MP200i is definitely a value choice compared to the top brands. It offers essential features with similar quality but at a fraction of the price.
However, the YesWelder MP200 may be a better choice for hobbyist use.
The YesWelder MP200 offers the same welding processes as Eastwood, including a plasma cutter. It’s the only multi-process welder to incorporate a plasma cutter and provides a 5 in 1 experience.
It has a decent arc quality. But you can expect a bit more spatter, as well as more fluctuations in the arc shape and travel path, compared to the Eastwood. However, despite the slightly lower arc and build quality, the MP200 provides a better value for weekend warriors and DIY welders.
This multi-process welder provides a 60% duty cycle at 200A output, but I wouldn’t be pushing its limits every day. Considering everything included, this is still an inexpensive unit, so it’s not realistic to expect it to endure daily heavy use.
The 13 feet leads on the MIG and TIG torch is a nice addition, and the dual voltage support makes it a good choice for the hobbyist welder. If you plan on getting a plasma cutter separately, it’s more cost-effective to purchase the YesWelder MP200 than buying an individual welder and plasma cutter. Just remember this welder is designed for hobbyists, and don’t expect it to hold up professional, heavy-duty use. To learn more about YesWelder MP200, check out our full review here.
|Eastwood MP200i||YesWelder MP200|
|Amperage Output||MIG: 30-200A|
Plasma cutting: 20-40A
|Duty Cycle||20% at 200A||60% at 200A|
|Digital Menu Settings||❌||✅|
Best Price Here
Best Price Here
Thanks to a great arc and build quality, the Eastwood MP200i is an excellent choice for hobbyists and light professional workers. Eastwood’s focus on fundamentals, and the lower price, give it a significant advantage over its competition, even the leading brands. However, if you need advanced features and professional quality at a higher price, you’ll have to go with something like Miller Multimatic 215.
As an alternative, the YesWelder MP200 is an exciting machine and good competition for the Eastwood unit. However, it’s focused on hobbyist use. So if you plan to do any professional welding, the Eastwood has an advantage thanks to better durability.