Aluminum MIG welding is quite popular. Also, there aren’t many MIG welders that work well with aluminum ]. So, if you’re looking for the best MIG welder for aluminum keep following!
With a lot of options available on the market in 2021, people new to welding find it quite difficult to find the best aluminum welding machine.
This is where Welding Rage shines.
We’re a team of qualified welders and awesome researchers. I and my fellow welders shortlisted the below 6 welders out of a list of 12 welders. All of them have their ups and downs and the final purchase decision depends on your usage.
Let’s just not waste any more time and find you the best aluminum welder for the money.
Here is the complete list of MIG aluminum welders to buy in 2021.
A Quick Comparison
|Hobart Handler 210 MVP||Check Price|
|Lotos MIG175 Welder||Check Price|
|WeldPro Multiprocess Welder MIG/TIG/ARC||Check Price|
|Hobart 500559 MIG For Aluminum||Check Price|
|Forney Easy Weld 261 Welder||Check Price|
|Lincoln Electric K-2514||Check Price|
Best MIG Welder For Aluminum 2021 Reviews
1. Hobart Handler 210 MVP
Input Power: 115/230 V
Duty Cycle: 20% (90 amps)
Weight: 79 lbs.
Amperage: 24-140 Amps, 25-210 Amps
Power Settings: 7-position voltage selector, MVP plug, dual gauge regulator, and a quick switch system
To say Hobart Handler 210 tops the list of ‘Best MIG welder for Aluminum’ would be an understatement. Hobart spent nearly 100 years to create powerful, robust yet easy to operate welders just like 210 MIG welder. While it is a heavy-duty model, it has a user-friendly interface so nothing will go south for beginners with this piece.
The versatile 210 MIG welder runs on dual voltage, 115 and 230 v. Thus, making it easy for users to plug it in. It comes with 7-locus voltage settings, yet another impressive point if you are an expert. The various voltage settings on the front panel help you get the perfect welds during your project.
When it comes to usability, Hobart handler 210 has to be placed first on the list as it comes fully stocked, ready to use. Furthermore, it welds 24-gauge metals with a thickness of up to 3/8” in the 1st pass.
Hobart 210 comes equipped with an optional spool runner. The built-in spool gun control circuitry alleviates wire feeding issues and can be directly plugged in, for user’s ease. Lastly, the dual groove drive roll system allows you to switch from one size to another easily.
If you need a robust and powerful machine without tapped controls, Hobart Handler 210 MVP is the aluminum MIG welder to invest in.
Use the interchangeable plugs that come with the power cable of the welder to switch to domestic power as well as 230V.
2. LOTOS MIG 175 Welder
Power Settings: Infinite voltage control selector, 2-step trigger, 3-second burst switch, adjustable wire feed control selector
LOTOS MIG 175 is yet another aluminum welding machine that allows you to work with precision and high accuracy. It is a better option to invest in as compared to using the machine’s feeder as it allows you to control the power. The fast spool gun, included with the welder is ergonomic and convenient as it has 4 prong-end connectors. It can weld aluminum of thick up to 3/8”.
Moreover, LOTOS MIG 175 welder is equipped with transformer technology. Thus, you can adjust the welder’s secondary voltage while welding. It is all about the macro adjustments you make in the welder’s currents for the best results.
The welder is quite easy to set up and hardly takes 10 minutes. The dual-frequency system has a built-in overload protection system which is self-resetting and will prevent the components from heat and electrical damage.
Apart from aluminum gas-shielded welding, it offers flux-core welding as well. More and more expert and amateur welders are now preferring flux-cored wires as it prevents oxidation and prevents the welds from the atmosphere, mainly oxygen. Therefore, flux-cored welding does not temper with the weld’s quality.
The catch here is to find the best MIG welder for aluminum so you can work on metal fabrication projects neatly.
To handle the standard-sized reels easily, use the spool gun that comes with the welder.
3. Weldpro Multi-process Welder MIG/TIG/ARC
Power Settings: 2 dials for controlling voltage and wire feed speed, additional voltage (+/- 20) adjust settings
The 200 Weldpro Multi-Process Welder is one of a kind. This cheap aluminum welder offers MIG welding, TIG welding, and stick welding. While it is originally a MIG welder, it can also handle flux—core and TIG welding.
Weldpro is known for making one of the best MIG welders on the market. It means this model’s controls are very easy to use and intuitive. All you have to do is hit the button to switch from process to process.
The amperage range for MIG welding is 40-200 amps. As for TIG welding, the amperage range lies between 15 to 200 amps. The welder’s digital displays are large. Therefore, beginners will have no problem in keeping an eye on the numbers, regardless of the bright and low lighting conditions.
You can use the digital screen to set up the amperage and wire feed speed. Moreover, you can also set the inductance settings. For its multi-process mode, we must say it is the best aluminum welder for the money.
Weldpro multi-process welder allows you to keep an eye on the temperate and provides you with a built-in thermal protection safety feature to prevent damage to the welder’s internal components.
If you have to take a certification exam or have to appear in an interview, this is the best aluminum welder for the money to brush up and improve your welding performance. The machine truly puts your welding skills to test.
Use the additional voltage (+/-20) controller if you want a big adjustment spread.
Spool gun does not come with the welder
4. Hobart 500559 MIG for Aluminum
Power Settings: 5-voltage control selector, infinite wire speed control; built-in wire feeding system
Since 1917, Hobart has been designing, testing, and manufacturing quality cutting and welding products.
Hobart 500559 Handler 140 is specifically designed for flux-core and MIG welding for aluminum. While it might not be the best aluminum welding machine from a price point of view, its multi-functionality will help you weld a variety of materials, ranging from aluminum to mild steel.
It runs on standard household voltage, 115 V, and equips a 5-position voltage selector, enabling convenience and flexibility for the users in every work. The welder comes with everything you need to get started with your first welding project.
Moreover, you will not need a lot of time to set up this machine. All you have to do is plug in the machine and start with the welds. The voltage settings are quite easy to work with. Thus, the welds come out clean and perfect.
As compared to other welders in the market, it offers a wide range of amperage. Add the welder’s flexibility of gas-shielded welding and there you have it, the perfect gift for your friend.
What sets the machine apart is its 5 heat settings. Other welders come with limited options, however, with Hobart 500559, you can select the accurate heat option for a perfect weld.
Hobart Handler 500559 ranks among the best welders in the market due to its exceptional arc performance. The crater fill and starting arc capabilities of the machine are two huge factors when it comes to top-notch welding. If you are a novice welder looking to add to your welding experience, Hobart Handler 500559 is a steal.
The MIG gun of Hobart Handler 500559 comes with a liner. Therefore, it is better to use 0.030 wire.
5. Forney Easy Weld 261 Welder
Power Settings: Infinite voltage, 10-position wire feed speed control; handles 2 to 10 pounds wire spools
Forney never quits the race to produce the best MIG welder for Aluminum. It produces machines with great versatility and tons of useful features.
One such example is Forney 261 Easy Weld. To begin with, it is one of the few flux-core welders available in the market. While most of the flux-core welders have a small amperage range and limited controls, Forney easy weld 261 Is quite the opposite.
It is easier than TIG, stick, and MIG welders to operate as the front-panel design is quite beginner-friendly welder. Moreover, the machine offers infinite wire feed speed and voltage controls. Most of the welders prefer infinite settings rather than tapped controls. This does not only give you the freedom to tune up settings but also helps you to achieve maximum welding performance.
Another noticeable feature of the welder is its weight. At 19 pounds, it weighs nothing as compared to other welders. As you are not doing gas-shielded welding, you do not have to invest in gas cylinders as well. For hobbyists not looking to spend money on gas cylinders, it is the perfect welder for aluminum and steel.
However, there’s one thing that differs from other flux-core welders- the plastic drive roll system. While most of the manufacturers build it with cast aluminum, Forney goes with plastic. But it is not a huge disadvantage.
It is one of the very few MIG aluminum welders to have inverter technology. From a price point of view, other welders comparable to this welder are using transformer technology. However, Forney’s cheap aluminum welder is an exception in the welder industry.
To make multiple weld-passes with the welder for aluminum and steel, clean the slag off before you move on to the next welding pass.
6. Lincoln Electric K-2514 Wire-feed Aluminum Welder
Power Settings: 2 knobs for tapped controls; diamond core technology, easy turn numeric drive tension indicator
Lincoln Electric k2514-1 Wire-feed Aluminum Welder is an exceptionally simple machine to use, thanks to its two-knob tapped control. The welder makes gasless flux-core welding easy and enables the users to enjoy deep welding penetration with thick materials.
However, if you want to weld thin materials like aluminum, you can switch gas-shielded MIG welding. It is the versatility and friendly user-interface of the welder that makes it the best welding machine for aluminum, at least for a few welders out there.
The precise drive and durable construction of the machine make it ideal for home use as compared to other welders in the competition. Lincoln weld Pak comes with a reference chart for voltage, wire feed, and other machine settings for various materials and thicknesses.
You can always choose Weld Pak for its professional-grade welding capabilities. Just go with the reference chart settings while performing flux-core welding and you will end up with perfect welds.
The diamond core technology will help you lay beautiful welding beads by delivering a perfect arc. Weld Pak has a stable which makes the unit pleasing to use, specifically with thick materials. The smooth arc technology, diamond core, offers smooth arc performance with minimal post-weld clean-up and splatter.
The adjustable drive system helps to reduce wire tangles. While most of the welders prefer plastic drive roll system but they are noisy. On the other hand, the welder’s drive system helps to drive torque while delivering high speed.
Change the settings for gasless flux-core welding directly from 2 knobs; one for voltage output and the other one for wire speed.
Is Aluminum Welding Any Difficult Than Steel Welding?
If it’s your first time working with aluminum, note that aluminum welding is a little different than traditional steel welding. Only a few MIG welding machines can produce quality aluminum welds that last.
I always choose a heavy-duty welder that can weld both steel and aluminum.
The question arises, “Is welding aluminum difficult than welding steel?”.
Well, the answer to this question lies somewhere in between. Don’t expect to produce the ideal results in the first go. However, with a little practice, you’ll get used to it.
A Definitive Guide to Successfully Weld Aluminum
Above anything else, aluminum is a softer metal in its pure form and has various applications. It is often used with different alloys to increase strength that makes it a better choice than steel.
Moreover, you’ll need a spool gun to weld aluminum. All the welders reviewed on this list for best MIG welders for aluminum either come with a spool gun or can attach one.
Aluminum reacts to the heat and input power differently as compared to steel. Thus, you can’t weld it with all MIG welders.
However, with the right technique, procedures, and equipment, you’ll get around aluminum welding just fine.
Following are my personal aluminum welding tips you must consider when MIG welding your first aluminum project.
Keep the surface clean
When welding aluminum, make sure to keep the base material clean. It is recommended to use a steel brush to remove the oxide layer, extra particles, or any debris.
Make sure the steel brush you have is clean and is only used for the aluminum welding process.
You can weld a minimum of 14 gauge (0.074 inches) thick aluminum sheets and heavier. To weld aluminum sheets less than 14 gauge, you might want to consider a heavy-duty MIG welder or preferably TIG equipment.
The Best Gas to Use
Make sure to use 100% argon shielding gas as aluminum is a non-ferrous metal. It is recommended to use a flow rate of 20-30 cubic feet.
What Filler Metal You Should Use?
The alloy filler metal you use with aluminum determines the strength of your welds. The 2 most commonly used filler wires I use are ER5356 and ER4043. These are easily available on the market.
You can also look for some other filler wires that fit your aluminum welding project or application.
Frequently Asked Questons – FAQs
In the end, all it comes down to your features preference and usage. A welder that works well for me may not serve the same deal to your kind of work. Getting me?
In case of further questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a reply or contact us here.
Jaxon is an integral part of Welding Rage team. He’s a writer and working closely to the welding industry for years. Jaxon is helping us shortlisting the best MIG welders on the market with his welder friends.