small mig welders

10 Best Small MIG Welders (Smallest and Popular Ones)

MIG welders have become increasingly portable since their first introduction in 1948, allowing more and more individuals to get into MIG welding as a hobby. If you’re considering doing a little welding on the side, you might be wondering, what is the smallest MIG welder?

The smallest MIG welder by far is the battery-operated Ready Welder, which comes in a small carrying case. It is a battery-powered welder designed for heavier duty welding than other small 110-volt welders. Among the 110-volt welders, the Goplus MIG 130 is among the shortest at just over 11 inches tall.

To help you choose the best small MIG welder for you, let’s compare the size, weight, power, and costs of some of the top models.

Top 10 Best Portable MIG Welders Table (by size)

Please click the GREEN +PLUS symbol to open further information (smaller screens only).

Welder ModelWelder DimensionsWelder Weight 
Ready Welder RWII Model #10000ADP (CS) Battery Operated MIG Gun
Ready Welder RWII Model #10000ADP (CS) Battery Operated MIG Gun
Case: 18” tall, 24” wide, and 8”18 lbsCheck Price
Goplus MIG 130 Welder
Goplus MIG 130 Welder
11.4” tall, 7.3” wide, and 13.4” long35 lbsCheck Price
Forney Easy Weld 140
Forney Easy Weld 140
12” tall, 8.125” wide, and 16.75” long19 lbsCheck Price
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
12.8” tall, 8.8” wide, and 18” long46 lbsCheck Price
Lincoln Power MIG 140MP MIG Welder K4498-1
Lincoln-Electric-POWER-MIG-140-MP-Multi-Process-Welder
13.6” tall, 8.9” wide, and 18.1” long35 lbsCheck Price
Hobart Handler 125
Hobart Handler 125
13.5” tall, 10” wide, and 19.4” long57.5 lbsCheck Price
Lotus MIG 140
Lotus MIG 140
14.5” tall, 9.6” wide, and 16” long54 lbsCheck Price
Miller Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
Miller Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
12.5” tall, 11.25” wide, and 20.5” long51 lbsCheck Price
VULCAN VW140-MM Migmax 140 Welder with 120V Input
VULCAN VW140-MM Migmax 140 Welder with 120V Input
16” tall, 11” wide, and 21” long42 lbsCheck Price
Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit
Pro-Series MMIG125 125 Amp Fluxcore Welder Kit
17.8” tall, 12.2” wide, and 21.2” long10.39 lbsCheck Price

Best Dual-Voltage MIG Welders Table

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Welder ModelWelder DimensionsWelder Weight 
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder With Advanced Auto-Set And Cart
Millermatic 211 MIG Welder With Advanced Auto-Set And Cart
12.5” tall, 11.25” wide, and 20.5” long38 lbsCheck Price
Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 MP
Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 MP
14” tall, 10.75” wide, and 19” long40 lbsCheck Price
Hobart Handler 210 MVP
Hobart Handler 210 MVP
12.375” tall, 10.625” wide, and 19.5” long79 lbsCheck Price
Everlast Power i-MIG 200E
Everlast Power i-MIG 200E
13.5” tall, 8.5” wide, and 17.5” long30 lbsCheck Price
RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i
RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i
21” tall, 12” wide, and 29” long30 lbsCheck Price
Smarter Tools INMIG-185iD
Smarter Tools INMIG-185iD
12.5” tall, 9.5” wide, and 20.5” long36.8 lbsCheck Price
Weldpro MIGsv 155
Weldpro MIGsv 155
13.6" tall, 6.7" wide, and 15" long35.2 lbsCheck Price

The Top 10 Best Portable MIG Welders by Size

Ready Welder II Model 10000ADP-CS

Ready Welder II Model 10000ADP-CS
Ready Welder II Model 10000ADP-CS
  • Case Dimensions: 18” tall, 24” wide, and 8”.
  • Overall Weight: 18 lbs

Welders like the Ready Welder II and the Broco GoWeld are intended to carry in your vehicle in case you break down and have to do some emergency welding. Several branches of the armed forces such as the US Army and National Guard, the US Navy and Coastguard, the USMC, and the US Air Force have adopted these portable welders.

Ready Welder has been the recognized leader of “The Portable Welding Industry” since they came out with the original battery-powered Ready Welder in 1997. Ready Welders come in their carrying case that is 18 inches tall, 24 inches wide, and 8 inches deep with an overall weight of about 18 lbs (source).

The Ready Welder comes in several different models, but the Model 10000ADP-CS Ready Welder II provides the most features. These include the AC to DC power converter as well as the cold switch option (source).

The AC/DC power supply allows you to run it as a spool gun on a constant current welding machine like a stick welder, which is something its main competitor, the GoWeld, cannot do. It also can run on continuous voltage MIG machines without the use of an AC/DC power supply.

The Ready Welder yields anywhere from 45 amps to 350 amps, depending on the batteries used. It can operate with a 12-volt and a 6-volt battery for thinner metals and can last for over 4 hours on lighter projects.

A pair of fully-charged 12-volt batteries at 175 amps can weld ½-inch steel or ¾-inch aluminum for at least 45 minutes. For steel up to 3/4 inch thick, you can use three 12-volt batteries for a total of 36 volts input.

The duty cycle of the Ready Welder is 100 percent when using a shielding gas, but it will require cooling periods for flux-core welding. Otherwise, it will run as long as the batteries last, and using compressed air, it can be cooled (source).

The Ready Welder II Model 10000ADP-CS sells at an MSRP of about $699, which is more than half the price of the GoWeld at $2000 (source). In our eyes it is pretty spendy but if it fits your application the best then check out more details on the link above.


Goplus MIG 130

Goplus MIG 130
Goplus MIG 130
  • Dimensions: 11.4” tall, 7.3” wide, and 13.4” long.
  • Overall Weight: 35 lbs

Among the 110 volt MIG welders, the Goplus MIG 130 is the smallest at 11.4 inches tall, 13.4 inches long, and 7.3 inches wide. It’s also a great bargain at only $119.99. As you might expect, it’s not the most powerful with a duty cycle of only 15 percent at 105 amps (source). 

If you are looking for a small unit to weld things around the house or do some hobby welding, then check this one out.


Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i MIG Machine

Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i MIG Machine
Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-i MIG Machine
  • Dimensions: 12” tall, 8.125” wide, and 16.75” long.
  • Overall Weight: 19 lbs

Another tiny MIG welder is the Forney Easy Weld 140 FC-I, which is even lighter than the Goplus MIG 130 at a mere 19lbs. At 12 inches tall, 16.75 inches long, and 8.125 inches wide, it’s even smaller and lighter than the previous Easy Weld 299 125 FC, which received high marks (source).

It’s a little more potent than the Goplus with a duty cycle of 30 percent at 90 amps and a max amperage of 140, allowing it to weld up to ¼-inch mild steel.

We really like this one and so do many in the forums we belong to. We also list it in our recommended gear for a beginner and hobby welder here.


Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder

Dimensions: 12.8” tall, 8.8” wide, and 18” long.

Overall Weight: 46 lbs

Made by one of the leading brands in welding, the Lincoln Electric K2185-1 Handy MIG Welder has been out for a while and is still an excellent choice, even if it is not as light or robust as some other models.

They’re much cheaper than the newer, lighter, and more powerful multi-process Lincoln MIG 140 at around $299. It can weld up to 1/8-inch thick metal, and it has a duty cycle of 20 percent at 70 amps.

Lincoln has been around for years and we used many different models over the years in the Fabrication Shops we owned. We always had good luck with our Lincoln Welders.


Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 140 MP Multi-Process Welder

Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 140 MP Multi-Process Welder
Lincoln Electric POWER MIG 140 MP Multi-Process Welder
  • Dimensions: 13.6” tall, 8.9” wide, and 18.1” long.
  • Overall Weight: 35 lbs

The Lincoln Electric Power MIG 140 MP produces a very smooth welding experience and is highly versatile with the ability to do MIG, flux-cored, DC TIG, and DC stick welding. It can perform MIG welding from 30-140 amps with an impressive duty cycle of 60 percent at 95 amps (source).

The Power MIG 140 is lighter than other top quality welders in this class like the Vulcan MIDMax 140 or Millermatic 141 at only 35 lbs, but it’s not as sturdy as either the Vulcan or the Millermatic.


Hobart 125 Handler

Hobart 125 Handler
Hobart 125 Handler
  • Dimensions: 13.5” tall, 10” wide, and 19.4” long.
  • Overall Weight: 57.5 lbs

The Hobart Handler 125 has a great balance of size at only 13.5 inches tall and is priced at $329.99, but it’s a bit on the heavy side at 57.5 pounds. The Hobart Handler 130 is slightly lighter at 51 lbs (source).

It can MIG weld up to 3/16-inch mild steel and up to 1/8-inch steel with flux-cored wire. The amperage range is 25 to 130, with a duty cycle of 25 percent at 80 amps.

The Hobart Handlers have an EZ-Mode with automatic settings, but the accessories for them, like gas gauges, are limited.


Lotus Technology MIG140

Lotus Technology MIG140
Lotus Technology MIG140
  • Dimensions: 14.5” tall, 9.6” wide, and 16” long.
  • Overall Weight: 54 lbs

Another option that is very small and portable, while being comparatively heavy at 54 lbs, would be the Lotus MIG 140. It is moderately powerful, with a max amperage rating of 140 and a duty cycle of 20 percent at 90 amps. It usually costs around $449, but you can sometimes find them about $339 (source).


Millermatic 141 MIG Welder

Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
Millermatic 141 MIG Welder
  • Dimensions: 12.5” tall, 11.25” wide, and 20.5” long.
  • Overall Weight: 51 lbs

The Millermatic 141 carries with it the well-earned reputation of the Miller brand for performance, but it comes at a higher price tag of $875. Its dimensions are similar to the Lincoln Power MIG 140, and it weighs about 16 lbs more at 51 lbs (source).

Using a standard 110-volt household outlet, the Millermatic 141 can weld mild steel up to 3/16 inches, and it has a rated output of 20 percent at 90 amps. The Millermatic boasts the smoothest and spatter-free start in the 110-volt welder category.

It’s also one of the easiest to operate with automatic settings that allow you to simply enter your wire diameter and the thickness of your material. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a spool gun, and it’s geared more toward MIG welding than flux-core.


Vulcan MIGMAX 140

Vulcan MIGMax 140
Vulcan MIGMax 140
  • Dimensions: 16” tall, 11” wide, and 21” long.
  • Overall Weight: 42 lbs

A bit larger but still relatively light, the Vulcan MIGMax 140 was rated by Popular Mechanics rated as the number one wire feed welder of 2017 for its automatic settings, solid construction, and affordability (source).

Harbor Freight sells the MIGMax 140 at $579.97 with a MIG gun, and you can add a Vulcan 160A spool gun for aluminum welding at $219.99 (source).

The Vulcan MIGMax 140 has an amperage range of 30 to 140 DC amps and a duty cycle of 40 percent at 100 amps, 60 percent at 86 amps, and 100 percent at 75 amps.


Pro-Series MMIG 125 Flux-Core/HIT 125

Pro-Series MMIG 125 Flux-Core/HIT 125
Pro-Series MMIG 125 Flux-Core/HIT 125
  • Dimensions: 17.8” tall, 12.2” wide, and 21.2” long.
  • Overall Weight: 10.39 lbs

The Pro-Series MMIG 125 is the lightest of all options on this list at only 10.39 lbs. At the same time, it’s not at all the smallest with a height of 17.8 inches, a length of 21.2 inches, and a width of 12.2 inches.

The machine is a relatively low-powered welder best for small hobby projects. It does have a duty cycle of 20 percent at 80 amps and can be used on metals up to 3/16 inches thick (source). It only has two voltage settings and no DC output. It is primarily a flux-core welder, but it can be fitted for MIG welding. Unfortunately, the attachment for gas can be a bit expensive.

Dual Voltage Input MIG Welders

Dual-voltage input MIG welders are comparatively expensive, but they are some of the best options available that will allow you to weld using a 110-volt outlet or a 220-volt outlet. Some of these are even multi-process welders that can perform stick and sometimes TIG welding.

Access to a 110-volt outlet will allow you to weld thinner metals, while the 220 is required for thicker metals like 3/8 and ½ inch steel. The majority of these welders now use inverter technology to help cut down the weight.

Millermatic 211

Millermatic 211
Millermatic 211
  • Dimensions: 12.5” tall, 11.25” wide, and 20.5” long.
  • Overall Weight: 38 lbs

The Millermatic 211 has a multi-voltage plug that allows you to run the machine off of either 110-volt outlets or 220-volt outlets. The added power will enable you to weld mild steel or aluminum up to 3/8 inch in only one pass.

The Millermatic 211 has a 20 percent duty cycle at 115 amps when using a 110-volt outlet and a 40 percent duty cycle at 150 amps when using a 220-volt outlet.


Lincoln Power MIG 210 MP

Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 MP
Lincoln Power MIG 210 MP
  • Dimensions: 14” tall, 10.75” wide, and 19” long.
  • Overall Weight: 40 lbs

The Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 Multi-Process welder can perform MIG, FCAW, SMAW, and TIG welding. It can weld up to 5/16-inch steel and has a 40 percent duty cycle at 100 amps. They can be a bit pricey, with the K4195-1 model running at $1723.

It’s impressively small and light for its versatility, although its power lead is concise at 10 feet. Its simple interface makes it ideal for beginners (source).


Hobart Handler 210 MVP

Hobart Handler 210 MVP
Hobart Handler 210 MVP
  • Dimensions: 12.375” tall, 10.625” wide, and 19.5” long.
  • Overall Weight: 79 lbs

Hobart also offers a portable dual-voltage model known as the Handler 210MVP MIG Welder. It weighs a hefty 79 lbs and doesn’t use inverter technology, so it’s not as compact as other models. You can weld up to 3/8-inch mild steel. It has a duty cycle of 30 percent at 150 amps and a 20 percent duty cycle at 90 amps.


Everlast Power i-MIG 200E

Everlast Power i-MIG 200E
Everlast Power i-MIG 200E
  • Dimensions: 13.5” tall, 8.5” wide, and 17.5” long.
  • Overall Weight: 30 lbs

The Everlast Power i-MIG 200E is an IGBT inverter-based dual-voltage MIG welder with a 25 percent duty cycle at 180 amps and 200 max amps (source).


RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i

RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i
RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i
  • Dimensions: 21” tall, 12” wide, and 29” long.
  • Overall Weight: 30 lbs

The RazorWeld ViperMIG 180i is another inverter-based dual-voltage MIG welder with a 30 percent duty cycle at 180 amps and 100 percent at 99 amps (source).


Smarter Tools INMIG-185iD

Smarter Tools INMIG-185iD
Smarter Tools INMIG-185iD
  • Dimensions: 12.5” tall, 9.5” wide, and 20.5” long.
  • Overall Weight: 36.8 lbs

The INMIG-185iD is a 180 amp dual voltage inverter welder that can perform MIG, FCAW, and SMAW. With a duty cycle of 30 percent at 180 amps, it can MIG weld up to 3/16-inch sheet metal in a single pass and up to ½-inch steel using flux-cored wire (source).


Weldpro MIGsv 155

Weldpro MIGsv 155
Weldpro MIGsv 155
  • Dimensions: 13.6″ tall, 6.7″ wide, and 15″ long.
  • Overall Weight: 35.2 lbs

The Weldpro MIGsv 155 is an inverter welder that can weld steel up to ¼ inch thick and can perform MIG, flux-cored, and stick welding. It has an MSRP of $580, but you can catch them on sale for $290 (source). It has a 30 to 155 amp welding range and a duty cycle of 15 percent.


Uses for Small MIG Welders

MIG welders are highly versatile, and the MIG welding process is easier to learn than TIG or stick welding. MIG welding is a form of Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), but MIG welders are also capable of FCAW (Flux-Cored Arc Welding), which is better suited for the outdoors.

Portable MIG welders are used in a wide variety of industries and applications, from ranchers and farmers to railroads, the trucking industry, shipyards, and off-road enthusiasts. They can also be used by small craft welders, metal artists, do-it-yourselfers, and for automotive repair or customization.

For this article, we are defining a small MIG welder as being around 50 lbs. They can be battery-powered or runoff of 110/120-volt or 220/240-volt outlets. Portable engine-driven welders, like you, might see on a welding trailer, tend to be a couple of hundred pounds at least.

Which one you choose will affect the thickness of metal that you can weld. The best battery-powered MIG welders can weld up to ¾-inch or even 1-inch thick steel using three 12-volt batteries.

A small 110-volt MIG welder will usually be limited to 3/16-inch steel, while a dual-voltage welder using a 220-volt outlet might be able to weld up to ½-inch steel. A small welder might be able to weld up to 5/16-inch steel using flux-core welding.

The amperage range and duty cycle of the machine will also affect the power and duration of your work. Those models with a duty cycle of 20 to 30 percent at around 90 amps will work nicely for light projects, while those that have a 40 to 60 percent duty cycle can work for more serious work.

How Do You Weld With A Small MIG Welder?

MIG welding with a small welder is not that different from using a larger one; you just won’t have the same amount of power at your disposal. Like welding with a more massive machine, you will need to set the amperage to the proper setting for the thickness of the metal. Your machine should have a chart under the cover or on the side that will tell you the appropriate settings (source).

Make sure you have the right wire for your machine’s amperage range as well. Welding wire comes in spools, and the wiring has different diameters. For a 110-volt machine, you’re going to be using anywhere from 0.023-inch diameter wire to 0.035-inch wire.

Other welders, such as the Ready Welder, can use wire up to 0.045 inches rated at 75 to 250 amps. Solid wire is used for MIG welding, while the flux-cored wire is used for FCAW. The flux-core wire contains a flux within the wire that is released as a shielding gas during the welding process.

A shielding gas prevents contaminants and oxidizers from entering the weld pool. When you’re MIG welding, a shielding gas is pumped from gas cylinders through the nozzle of the MIG gun for the same purpose. For MIG welding, you will need to have the proper gas flow rate as well.

When arc welding, you are creating an electrical circuit to create the necessary arc that melts the welding wire to fuse the metal. It is accomplished by attaching a ground clamp to the metal workpiece near the area you intend to weld.

Final Thoughts

MIG welding is one of the most straightforward welding processes to learn, and there are many options available for a small MIG welder. The battery-operated Ready Welder cannot be beaten for its combination of portability and power.

The 110-volt welders are portable and can plug into your everyday household outlet. For added power, the dual voltage input welders can plug into the less standard 220-volt outlet for thicker metals while still having access to the more common 110-volt outlets.

If you’re just beginning to learn MIG welding and would like to start with a cheap hobby welder, choose an inexpensive option like the Goplus 110 volt welder.

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Hey, this is Brian and Gene Luoma. Since the two of us have pretty much been self-employed our entire lives, we have a lot of experience designing and creating all sorts of DIY projects for businesses and homes—projects that have helped us make money or save money through the years!

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