Pulse MIG welding is a different type than other welding processes but has taken a huge leap into the mind of welders both at home and professionally. It is both easy to learn and cost-effective when looking at all the different methods of welding today. This makes it a great way to jump into learning how to weld, but also adds a tool to the shop that creates a solid and good fusion.
Pulse MIG welders operate by sending pulses of current rather than a steady stream. The pulses create a droplet on the very end of the wire, and then sends it across the arc to the weld puddle, never actually making contact. This results in a spatter free weld with currents between 50A and 150A. A pulse MIG welder allows for the operator to cut costs by operating on both the low and high end of the ranges for wire diameter. This means you will only need to stock a mid-gauge wire, but will still be able to use it for various applications.
Welding can be an intimidating process or can be as familiar as driving a car. No matter what, the right welder is the key to getting your desired results. In order to help you move towards a better weld, we have found each of the best pulse MIG welders available today and brought them together.
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Why is the Millermatic 255 the top pick?
The Millermatic 255 Pulsed MIG Welder tops our list for countless reasons. The Auto-set elite feature, the EZ-latch system, and the LED screen are just the tip of the iceberg of features this great machine boasts. It has the capability to perform at industrial strength and will exceed all expectations for those just starting out as well. There is no reason why this should not be at the top. It brings together all the best features of everything out there and puts them into one pulse MIG welder.
5 Best Pulse Mig Welders In 2020
1. Millermatic 255 Pulsed MIG Welder – Best Overall
Miller tops the market as the best MIG welding machine. They have been producing quality products for years, and have now brought us the Millermatic 255 Pulsed MIG Welder. It has easily earned the top spot on our list this year.
The Millermatic 255 has two key features that make it the perfect choice for every level of a welder. First, the auto-set elite feature used by Miller will quickly and easily set the parameters needed for the weld based on wire type, size, base material thickness, and gas. Secondly, the LED control panel on this rig is incredibly user-friendly and makes it simple to set custom parameters if you opt-out of the auto-set. You have great arc control by adjusting the arc length on this control system.
The EZ-latch running gear on this setup is easy to use and fastened in just a few seconds. This machine can be ordered with a spot for carrying a gas tank and boasts a huge storage compartment for all the possible things you may need on the job. It runs on 208 or 240 volt single-phase power, can be used to weld up to ½ inch aluminum and comes with a 15 foot 250 amp MDX MIG gun.
Features: Easy to use LED interface, “EZ-latch” running gear, Auto-set Elite easily adjusts settings to where you need them
- Versatility with MIG, pulse MIG, and flux-cored welding
- Auto-set Elite sets parameters accurately and quickly
- Welds up to half-inch aluminum and 24 ga. steel
- Pulse function adds to versatility
- Comes with a high price tag
2. Forney Easy Weld 140 – Best on a Budget4
Without running you broke, the Forney Easy Weld 140 is a perfect choice for a multi-process welder. It can give you the capability of MIG and TIG welding on top of stick welding. It was mainly developed for those working off of a power source at home, as it runs on a 120 volt input, but can be used on the job as well. The performance of the Forney Easy Weld 140 easily matches that of other MIG welders of a much higher price.
The controls make controlling the settings simple with an output range of 43-140A and a wire feed speed of 79-197 inches per minute (ipm). The machine accepts wire thicknesses up to .035 inches and will work on materials up to ¼ inch thick. It can handle both flux core and gas shielded MIG welding. Truly, it can handle a lot.
The downsides that can be expected with a lower price are that it can only work in DC, meaning welding aluminum is off the table with this machine. The duty cycle for this welder is only rated at 30% for 80A, meaning it is on the lower end and could perform a lot better if it could have a higher duty cycle.
Features: Infinitely variable settings, 120V input, 8 foot MIG gun
- MIG, TIG, and Stick welding
- Powerful output of up to 140A means you can do thicker material
- No aluminum TIG welding
- Lower duty cycle
3. Everlast PowerMTS 251Si – Best Versatility
The Everlast PowerMTS 251Si is an incredibly versatile multi-process machine with the capability of switching into Synergic MIG, pulse MIG, pulse TIG, and standard MIG/TIG/stick welding modes. With all of these different modes, you can weld on aluminum, steel, and stainless steel materials.
This pulse MIG welder comes with dual input options for voltages of either 120 or 240. This makes it a versatile option that can come to the worksite, or do home repairs in your shop. The TIG welding mode offers both lift start and high-frequency start options. An easy-to-use digital display makes maneuvering a large number of options an easier task. It can be operated in manual mode, but also will adjust itself as needed in automatic.
The Everlast PowerMTS is an incredible value for the wide array of different welds you can perform with it. It is another machine that is great for beginners as they can practice so many different welding methods and are not required to buy three different welders.
Features: Synergic MIG, pulse MIG, pulse TIG, and standard MIG/TIG/stick welding modes, TIG welding mode offers both lift start and high-frequency start options, easy-to-use digital screen, Dual input voltage
- A vast array of options for different methods of welding
- 5 Year Warranty
- A high duty cycle of 40% at 250A for MIG and TIG, 40% at 200A for stick
- 80-pound construction makes it hard to move around
- No TIG welding of aluminum
The Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 is another multi-purpose welder that can perform pulsed MIG, TIG, and standard stick welding. Like the Everlast PowerMTS, it features dual-voltage technology letting you choose a power source between 120V and 230V.
It has a simple interface that doesn’t complicate the process even further and is a great choice for bringing home to your shop and starting to learn how to weld. The large color display helps walk users through the setup while in use.
This rig is able to be used for aluminum in the MIG welding setup but is unable to TIG weld aluminum due to it being a DC welder. It has a large range of options and versatility but simply does not hit this mark. As a more expensive option, the high-frequency start should be included in order to TIG weld aluminum, but this falls short.
Features: Dual-voltage technology for home and higher power sites, multi-purpose MIG, TIG, and stick welding
- Lightweight construction under 40lbs makes it easily portable
- Versatility with dual-voltage and MIG/TIG/Stick welding
- Unable to have high-frequency TIG start
- High price
Next on our list is the Solary Inverter Aluminum MIG Welder. This pulse MIG welder features double-pulse technology that makes it ideal for aluminum welding. Although it is the best pick for aluminum, it can still handle high strength steel, stainless steel, galvanized sheet metal, and other aluminum alloys.
This machine is paired well with softer wire, which makes it a great choice for mechanics to use in their shop. Automotive repair is made easier as the Solary is lighter weight with a 60% duty cycle. It features an IGBT inverter, paired with soft switching control and fast arc ignition. This results in much less spatter and an easy, consistent weld. It also has a memory function that can store up to 6 settings that you can dial in.
While this pulse MIG welder is a great option, it does have a very specific use. It can be used on several materials but is simply best for aluminum. It is not made for industrial use and would need to be paired with another machine in order to do so. So, if you are just looking for something that will help you weld while repairing cars, then this is it.
Features: IGBT inverter, memory function remembers up to 6 different settings, double pulse technology is perfect for clean aluminum welding
- Double-pulse makes less spatter on aluminum welding, meaning cleaner finish and less clean up
- Affordable pricing
- Lighter weight and more portable
- Very specific use
- Not made for bigger jobs
Buyer’s Guide to Pulse MIG Welders
Making the final decision on the best out of all the pulse MIG welding machines for you can be a difficult one and there are a lot of different variables that come into play. Technology has come a long way from what welding once was, which makes it a lot easier to use but more difficult to understand. Any welder that has been in the game a long time can still get confused by the addition of pulse MIG and pulse TIG into the technology.
You need to consider the duty cycle, the versatility, the voltage, spray transfer, amperage, portability, and the list goes on. Each manufacturer’s website will have detailed information on each MIG welder. They will have all the in-depth information of its pulsed MIG and pulsed TIG capabilities, the peak current for each machine, if it has heat input, and different suggestions for add-ons such as contact tips, additional pulse MIG guns, or anything you may need for more uses of a pulse MIG welder.
To make this task just slightly easier, this buyer’s guide will help guide you closer to the right pulse TIG/MIG machine for you today.
First, you need to know where you are going to be using your new pulse MIG welder. If you are planning on bringing this to professional job sites for some heavier duty construction, you need something that will draw on a lot of power, preferably up to 240V. This will give the power to fuse thicker materials but needs a much higher input.
If you are looking for a quality machine for home, a 120V MIG welder is going to be right up your alley. This will run off your power sources at home with no issue and can still have a decent level of output if you pick the right product.
So then, what is the best 120V MIG welder? The Everlast PowerMTS is probably the top 120V option on our list unless your budget is much lower. It provides a lot of versatility and can easily be adjusted to a higher voltage if you hope to move on to larger products.
Some MIG welders can handle welding aluminum and leave behind a beautiful bead appearance, and some simply are not made for beauty. Most of the pulse MIG welders on this list are capable of handling steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. If you are hoping to TIG weld aluminum, be aware that you will need to run on AC power and not all of these machines are capable of doing so.
When welding aluminum, also know that some different models will require a spool gun to work well with that specific metal. One wrong choice and there will be poor welding performance with any type of machine.
The output power of each welder will affect how thick of a base material they can handle. If you are looking to weld heavy gauge, thick steel then you will need something with a higher amperage output. For example, the Forney Easy Weld will not be the best choice for thicker steel.
Ease of Use
As a beginner, there can be nothing more frustrating than having to figure out knobs and dials that all mean absolutely nothing to you. You want something that is easily understood and you can adjust without pulling out the manual every minute. The Millermatic 255 and the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 both have very user-friendly operating screens and dials that are simple to figure out.
The duty cycle of a welder refers to how long you can operate the welder safely in a ten minute time period. A higher duty cycle means you can run it longer and it will perform better over time, which means for professional work you will want a greater duty cycle.
Build quality reflects how much the manufacturer has put into the product. Miller has put in technology that is all rights reserved, patented tech you can’t find in other products. It has a high build quality that will show in its operation and low amounts of required service. You may also like our guide on the best welder for aluminum reviews.
Make sure you don’t cheap out on low build quality. It will not only last a short amount of time but can decrease the safety of operating the machine.
Looking at the best pulse MIG welders can be a complicated process. Choosing between arc welding with a short arc or long arc, puls MIG and TIG, stick welding, and all the different options can be stressful. Doing the research, however, is guaranteed to lead you in the best direction towards a product that will give you exactly what you are looking for.
Pulse MIG welding can let you easily do a wide variety of welding tasks. It’s just about finding the right one for your style of pulse welding. Hopefully, this list can make your purchase an easier one so you end up with the right fit for you. If you like this post, see our recent guide on the best lathe mill combos review.
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