5 Top Picks
25 Hours of Research
20 Products Considered
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Multi-Process Welders
In a perfect world, there would be one universal welding machine that would allow any welding operator at any skill level to handle every type of welding job on any type of materials imaginable.
The difficulty is that there are so many types of welding jobs and materials, so it requires different welding process to accomplish it. This makes it difficult to find the best multi purpose welders for everday use.
However, there are some machines that will let you perform at least two types of welding process.
In this buyers guide, we’ll take a look at a few of those here as we detail our choices for the best multi process welders. We'll explore top brands like ESAB, Everlast, Forney, Lincoln, Lotos, Hobart, and Miller.
By Gregory Sanders: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding best multi process welders available for those who are interested in welding projects. The best available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best multi process welders currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
Top Rated Multi Process Welders - Top Picks
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6 Best Multi Process Welder Reviews (Updated 2021)
1. ESAB Rebel EMP 216ic - Best Overall
This is a compact starter multi-purpose welder that seriously kicks a** - it's easy to see why we consider it the best multi process welder.
The ESAB Rebel EMP 216ic is a one of the most dynamic multi process welders around with a 3-in-1 multi process machine capable of doing MIG, flux core, stick or TIG welding. The Flux core part is impressive!
It weighs 79.4 pounds. Output is DC and ranges up to 200 amps. The machine can run on 110 or 230 volts and has dimensions of: 17.7 x 7.8 x 13.7 inches
This welder is an affordable choice for the beginning welder or one looking for a nice multi-process machine that can do light welding jobs.
Other benefits include easy to change the spool, hard to make overheat, and a great smooth bead when doing MIG. The lift start works well, but does take some adjusting to get it consistently start.
The #1 choice by far, it's truly great for everything and is easy to use since it can automatically correct settings and mistakes from the user. However, its torch is a bit bulky, but still quite usable.
It excels at everything, including arc welding for those who want to really be able to do anything and can even weld aluminum (but not in TIG).
Esab Rebel Emp 216ic Pros
Esab Rebel Emp 216ic Cons
The Everlast PowerMTS 251 SI is a versatile multi-process welders machine that offers incredible abilities such as an awesome TIG option you can use to tig weld aluminum.
The Everlast PowerMTS is a very compact multi process welder unit has pulse MIG/TIG features. It is a digitally-controlled 3-in-1 inverter welding unit, capable of MIG, TIG and Stick welding.
Everlast PowerMTS has included a unique Synergic MIG, Pulse MIG and Pulse TIG welding modes as well, which makes it easier to weld in overhead or difficult to reach positions.
It weighs in at 80 pounds with an AC power source. It's dimensions are 25 x 19 x 16 inches.
- dual voltage 120/240V
- quick connect MIG gun
- works with .030"-.045" wires (diamater) with 35% duty cycle at 250 amps
Everlast Power MTS 251SI Pros
Everlast Power MTS 251SI Cons
3. Forney 324 - Best for the Money
Forney is always a great choice with a lot of amazing products in the welding space. The Forney 324 is no exception and is a very compact light-duty multi-purpose welder. It’s a nice, quality all in one welding unit with a lot of versatility that even a beginner welder will be happy owning.
It's routinely been linked to the best multi process welder due to it's ability to stand the test of time.
This multi-process welders machine is capable of MIG, Stick or TIG.
It’s easy to switch processes and is made for use on basically any home or light-industrial application. It can run on 230 or 110 volts and weight 17.6 pounds. Also it comes with a gas hose and flowmeter so that you don't have to buy them separately.
Dimensions: 20.2 x 10.2 x 16 inches
Power Source: Electric with 15 ft. cord length (DC)
The Forney 324 is manufactured in Italy and the core section of the warranty lasts 5 years. There is also a 3-year warranty on the parts that are not the transformer, and there is a 1-year for all components and parts outside the battery charger and welder cover.
However, if the machine is used for industrial purposes, that one year is reduced to 90 days.
Forney 324 Pros
Forney 324 Cons
The Lincoln MIG 210 MP is one of the popular multi-process welders, especially among small shop users and hobbyists due to its convenience, easy setup, and versatility.
The Lincoln Electric can replace several machines in your shop because this one machine can give you the ability to weld in MIG, TIG, flux core, and stick welding processes. This is a sturdy, versatile multi-purpose welder despite weighing just 40 pounds.
Lincoln Electric: Dimensions: 19 x 10.8 x 14 inches
Like most of the machines we review here, it can operate on both 120V and 220V, allowing it to take part in jobs that take a bit of finer precision and are a bit more touchy-feely.
Lincoln Electric offers a limited warranty on their machines, cutting tools and welding accessories against defects in workmanship and material which includes the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP.
They will assume both the parts and labor expenses of correcting defects during the 3-year warranty period. The company has 30 service locations in the US.
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP Pros
Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP Cons
Lotos is the first company to offer a 3-in1 welding machine that allows the operator to TIG & Stick weld as well as plasma cut. The LTPDC2000D is a multi-process welding unit suited for welding shops and hobbyists alike.
The Lotos LTPDC2000D welder is capable of doing Plasma Arc Cutting, Stick or TIG welding. At 44.5 pounds, it is a portable all in one welding unit.
It is a dual voltage machine that runs on 220V/110V and dual frequency 50/60Hz. The TIG and Stick functions operate on DC only at up to 200 AMP.
The machine comes with a 30-day warranty that promises you 100% satisfaction or your money back. This gives you a chance to use the machine and see how you like it before committing to long-term use.
There is an additional 1-year limited warranty included with your purchase. The 1-year warranty covers parts and labor for any manufacturer’s defects or issues you might experience with the machine.
Lotos LTPDC2000D Pros
Lotos LTPDC2000D Cons
This multi process welder is one of my favorties.
I must say that I really love this machine from PrimeWeld. Once I put it together and fired it up, it worked like a boss. My first piece of steel to test it was a 7/16 inch flat bar and this welder went through it like a hot knife through butter. I was really impressed. I did a few more cuts on scrap metal and it just worked great.
I set it up as a stick welder, grabbed 3/32nd 6011 and it just turned it to really smooth cream.
Primeweld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter Pros
Primeweld 3-in-1 50 Amp Plasma Cutter Cons
Basics of Welding Processes
First, let’s go over the basics of a few types of welding.
MIG welding uses a continuously-fed spool of wire and a MIG welding gun to weld together two pieces of metal. MIG is fairly simple to learn and very versatile for the welder operator.
The TIG welding multi process uses an electric torch with a tungsten electrode to deliver the current to the welding arc. A filler rod is hand-fed into the weld puddle, while the torch is held in the other hand.
Stick Welding works through a single electrode that also provides most of the welding material. The electrode, again, gets heated then melts, but the intense heat melts the work piece and welds the two parts together.
Regardless of what you get, you'll want to make sure you are protected by having the right equipment. That includes the actual machine, clothing, as well as welding helmets or lenses.
Pros and Cons of Multi process Welders - Buying Guide
While no one multi-process welding machine can allow any welder operator at any skill level to handle every type of welding job on any type of materials imaginable, a multi-purpose welder (also known as a 3-in-1) comes as close as you can get.
What is a multi process welder?
A multi process welder is a welder that can do ALL varieties of welding - MIG, TIG, stick, ARC, and plasma. They are premium machines that are perfect for a jack of all trades who doesn't need to specialize in one type.
The biggest advantage of a multi-purpose welder is its versatility.
It allows you to use the same welder as a powerful, industrial-grade welder that can handle heavy-duty welding jobs such as car frames, or a light-duty welder for welding around the house or hobby use.
It gives a much broader range of jobs you can perform across a variety of metal types.
Many multi-purpose welders are heavy, with some weighing in excess of 85 pounds.
For an industrial workshop machine, this isn’t that bad. But for a home welder, this might be a bit of a problem.
Some larger projects require a significant amount of repositioning of the machine to reach different welding angles. A heavy machine simply doesn’t give you the range of motion and reach you need to accomplish that. Its portability can be very limited.
Also, multi-purpose machines rarely excel at all three welding types. While they’ll usually be strong in one area, they tend to suffer a bit in other areas.
What To Look For In A Multipurpose Welder
Like any piece of equipment you purchase, you want to get the best value for your money and have a multi process welder that will last.
When you are shopping around for a multi purpose welder, here are a few things to look for.
- Make sure the welder you are considering has enough amps of output power to handle the types of projects you will be using it to weld.
- You probably also want a welder that’s easy to set up and requires a minimum of instructions to operate.
- You need to Look for a multi process welder that has a set-and-go weld control.
- You need to decide the essential features that you absolutely must have in your multi process welder machine. (ie. spool gun)
Where Can I Use This Machine?
The MIG feature allows a welding operator to use this machine in a professional welding shop for industrial uses such as fixing farm equipment or working on car frames.
The TIG welding features allow the user to create aesthetically-pleasing fine, artistic welds. The thin rod and the outstanding precision of the weld make this welding type very useful for sculpture, making and welds on motorbikes and car shells.
The stick welding feature allows you to use the welder on heavy steel constructions, for heavy repairs and pipes, or on dirty or rusty materials.
All of the above are dynamic multi process welders, so it's important you pick the right make and model for your needs
Welders come in many grades and price points that range from cheap to big bucks. However, not all welders can be used for every welding job. You can, however, come very close by purchasing a 3-in-1 or multi process welding unit.
For not much more than the price of a one-process machine, you can have the versatility of a machine that is capable of being an MIG welder, MIG gun, TIG and stick welder or TIG, stick and plasma cutting or some other combination. Seriously, they have all possible combinations including mig tig stick and mig tig welder combo.
What is the top rated multi-process welder? Any of the multi process machines we’ve reviewed here will get the job done so it really depends on your price threshold and the features you consider essential.
1. Are multi process welders any good?
For home hobbyists or those who only do light welding, multi process welders can be well worth the investment. However, they should be avoided in industrial applications or when welding is a critical component of your work.
2. Are Hobart welders made by Miller?
Their welders are not manufactured in the same facilities and are not manufactured using the same processes. Illinois Tool Works, or ITW for short, owns both brands.
3. What does a multi process welding power source do?
Having a power source capable of performing multiple welding processes and carbon arc gouging enables the completion of a variety of jobs without the need for additional equipment, potentially saving money.
4. How much power do I need for a welder?
Generally, 1 amp is required for every.001" of steel thickness. Stainless steel and out-of-position welding require 10% to 15% less heat than aluminum.
5. How many amps does it take to weld a 1/4 inch steel?
To weld 1/4-inch steel in a single pass, approximately 180 amps are required. The key is to complete the phrase in a single pass due to weld thicker material with a series of narrow passes.