When you’re dealing with temperatures of 5400 degrees Fahrenheit upwards, you need to know that your equipment is not going to let you down.
There are some excellent welder brands on the market, providing equipment that will give years of welding enjoyment.
Sadly, there are also a few brands that do not stand up to the demands required. The best case scenario is you have a weak or messy weld; worst case, you could be injured.
Welders sometimes treat their brands as car enthusiasts do automobiles. You know the type, the ones who swear by Ford or Chrysler and stick to that company, no matter what. Welders also often like one manufacturer and stay with it.
But, if you are recently new to the welding game, or have had a bad experience with a brand, you need to know where to start looking.
Therefore, I have put together what I consider are the best welding brands available today. I have given as much information as possible—including their downsides too.
Whatever brand you choose, popular or not, you will find a welder who has something negative to say about it. But that doesn’t mean that all welding brands are the same.
Choosing a more well-known and popular brand does have some advantages, including:
However, that isn’t to say that lesser known brands are not important. Every major manufacturer at some time was a small-time producer that grew due to the quality of its products. Some smaller companies still make impressive machines.
Hence, in this article, I have tried to provide a total overview of each brand to help you make the best choice. Most you will have heard of, some you may not. Either way, these brands are what I consider to be the best on the market today.
Easily recognized by its bright blue welding machines and its tagline “Build with Blue,” Miller Electric is one of the largest manufacturers of welding products in the world.
Working out of his basement workshop, Niels Miller built a stick welder in 1929 out of scrap steel. As this machine was able to work directly off the electrical supply in Wisconsin, it soon gained popularity.
This was the beginning of the Miller Electric manufacturing company, which was incorporated in 1935. Not long after, it built the original high-frequency welder, allowing AC welding to be completed in factories.
Miller’s 1971 revolutionary “Millermatic” enabled continuous wire feeding and power to be provided from one machine. Something that MIG welders today take for granted.
From the smallest home welder to industrial-sized submerged arc welders, Miller Electric covers all the bases.
What’s more, this brand has a wide range of accessories and safety equipment, giving it one of the most comprehensive product lines from any brand. Its Electric Shade glasses came first in our Best Welding Glasses review.
MIG, TIG and stick welders are all catered for, although it seems that flux-core aficionados may have a greater choice elsewhere. If you are working out in the field, the Miller Bobcat 250 recently came out on top in our Best Welder Generator review.
Furthermore, for people wanting to enter the TIG arena, one of my favorite products is the entry level Miller Dynasty 200 SD.
One thing is certain with Miller—it isn’t the cheapest brand on the market.
Miller’s entry-level MIG welder, the Millermatic 141, costs around $800. At the other end, the Miller Trailblazer 325 will set you back about $6000. For the real professional, the Miller Big Blue 800 Airpak costs a cool $45,000.
If you are into stick welding, the Miller Thunderbolt 160 can be purchased for $400.
With a tradition dating back nearly 100 years, this company has built its technology on its experience. It’s the favored brand in the U.S., backed by the assurance of a home-built product.
Quality wise, Miller is well-respected. It was the first welder manufacturer to reach ISO 9001-2000 compliance.
Furthermore, it encourages a positive relationship with both customers and distributors. Learning from feedback, Miller has incorporated many features into their welders that were demanded from welders themselves.
One of the oldest companies making welding equipment. Lincoln Electric has, throughout its history, been a pioneer of innovation and ethical practice.
John C. Lincoln founded the Lincoln Electric Company in 1895. Originally, this company served as an outlet for his self-designed electrical motors.
After years of innovation, in 1911, Lincoln Electric produced the first portable variable voltage welder in the world.
But, there was still more to come. Lincoln’s invention of shielded arc welding played a major role in the manufacture of World War II ships.
Today, Lincoln Electric has grown into a Fortune 1000 company, with revenues in excess of $2.5 billion.
Whether you’re a home user or buyer for a multinational corporation, Lincoln Electric has the products.
Its product line extends from the garage home-welder equipment to robotic welding machinery for industry.
In addition to welding equipment, Lincoln Electric also provides a wide range of consumable items. It supplies everything, from electrodes through to solid and flux-cored wires.
I would like to mention a couple of stand-out products. First, the highly portable Lincoln Electric K2185-1. An ideal machine for the beginner MIG welder, or those people looking for a second welding machine.
Secondly, I have been impressed by the Lincoln Precision 225. Its ability to tackle both TIG and stick welding, while being a really easy welder to use, makes it worth consideration.
Entry-level products in the Lincoln Electric line are around $850 for a MIG welder and $1,600 for a TIG. Naturally, stick welders are cheaper, with the Lincoln AC225 costing just $480.
For the professional user, the Power MIG 350MP costs $5,000.
Deciding on Lincoln Electric as your welding brand comes down to two things: its products and its ethos.
Firstly, the lines produced by Lincoln Electric are designed with the serious welder in mind.
Although it may be too expensive for the total beginner, this brand does provide welders that will see you through years of happy welding.
As its machines are mainly built for the professional or industry, they are extremely hard-wearing and durable.
Secondly, its business ethos. Today, more and more people are taking note of how companies conduct their affairs.
For those who consider the ethics behind a company important, Lincoln Electric may be attractive.
Ever since its inception, Lincoln Electric has tried to help both the workers and the community. It provides some of the highest salaries in the industry and has built hospitals and schools.
Furthermore, Lincoln Electric is dedicated to education and safety in welding. It promotes this through both online and real-world resources.
In 2018, it was named by Ethisphere as one of the world’s most ethical companies.
Starting from its roots as a traditional family company, Hobart has become known for its versatile and reasonably priced welding equipment.
Back in 1917, Charles Clarence Hobart, with his wife, Lou, together with their three children, founded Hobart Brothers.
To begin, the company dipped into manufacturing numerous different products. This included dynamos, office chairs and compressors.
However, it was Hobart’s entrance into the welding machine arena in 1925 that put it on the road to lasting success. This brand’s first welder was followed by the manufacture of innovative stick electrodes.
Hobart remained family owned until it was bought by the Illinois Tool Works in 1996, also the parent company of Miller Electric.
Speak to any seasoned welder about Hobart, and the first things that comes to mind are MIG welders.
Probably more than any other company in the market, this is what this brand has become renowned for, and rightly so.
Hobart’s products are simple to use, but able to adapt to demanding industrial work if required.
This machine even “self tunes” to the base metal, to prevent you from “burning through,” should it be set too high. We were so impressed, that it came first in our Best MIG Welder review.
Entry-level wire-feed welders, such as the Hobart 100 and 140, start around the $280–$600 price. The top-end Ironman 230 costs in excess of $1,500.
Currently, Hobart only has one TIG welder in its line, the EZ-TIG 165i, which is priced between $1,400 and $1,600.
Compared to Lincoln and Miller machines, they are significantly cheaper.
If you are a MIG enthusiast, I always recommend that you consider the Hobart line, due to the number of products available. Although if TIG is your thing, it’s probably better to look elsewhere.
Furthermore, if you are a beginner, or unsure of which direction in welding to go in, Hobart could be a good option.
The prices are not going to break the bank. This is always a consideration if you are just testing the water (metaphorically not literally—don’t put your welder in water).
Plus, the versatility means many of Hobart’s machines are suitable for both light and heavy metal use.
Finally, Hobart is about education too, which always instills confidence. Back in 1930, it founded the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology.
To date, this establishment has trained over 90,000 proficient welders. What’s more, it’s non-profit.
Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, ESAB is one of only two European welding manufacturers in this review.
Like many brands, ESAB (Elektriska Svetsnings-Aktiebolaget) started as a pioneer in welding products.
In 1904, Oscar Kjellberg produced the first ever flux-coated welding electrode from his newly formed company. It was an invention born out of necessity.
Oscar Kjellberg knew that contaminants, such as oxygen and water vapor, could reduce the quality of a weld. He developed a way to prevent this, by surrounding the weld itself with gas as the coated electrode burned.
Even today, many electrode consumables bear the initials O.K..
ESAB is a subsidiary of the Colfax Corporation.
ESAB has moved on a long way since the days of just producing covered electrodes. Today, it manufactures every type of welding machine, including TIG, MIG, plasma and robotic.
What’s more, ESAB’s lines include accessories such as torches, cables, regulators and consumables.
Currently, this brand is probably most well-known for the ESAB Rebel EMP 215ic welder. This machine has been given prominence due to its genuine all-around ability.
Many other brands have claimed that their machine can do it all, but this one delivers.
In short, it can deal with mild steel, aluminum and stainless steel. Furthermore, it can be used as a MIG, TIG or stick welder. A genuinely versatile machine.
As ESAB invented the covered electrode, they deserve a mention too. In my opinion, this brand has one of the widest ranges of electrodes by a single manufacturer. Allowing you to have the ideal electrode for the job at hand.
MIG welders, including the multi-application Rebel EMP 215ic, are available upwards from $1,000. The top of the range Renegade ET 300iP is over $5,500.
If you are looking for a machine that can do it all, considering the products produced by ESAB could be worthwhile.
In addition to its machinery, using ESAB’s O.K. branded electrodes are a must for enthusiasts and professionals who demand top quality in every one of their welds.
Despite being one of the newest welding brands in this top list, Everlast has already gathered a large number of dedicated followers.
Everlast Power Products Inc. was founded in 2004 in California. Originally, its business model was purely e-based, with all sales being completed on the internet.
Today, Everlast has distributors throughout the world and is a true multi-national company. The introduction of the "Power" IGBT series in 2008 brought this brand to a lot of people's attention. Especially so when the fairly low prices were taken into consideration.
Everlast produces TIG, MIG, plasma and stick welders. However, this brand is probably best known for its low-cost TIG machines.
In our recent Best TIG welder review, Everlast’s PowerArc model came a close runner-up.
In addition, it seems that Everlast has something of an “always the bridesmaid, never a bride” position.
Its adaptable PowerMTS 251Si also came second in the Best Multi-Process Welders Review. The winner being the ESAB mentioned above.
As well as this brand’s welding machines, Everlast sells torches, pedals, regulators, carts and consumables. The only thing it appears not to sell is safety equipment.
As mentioned earlier, money-saving is an aspect with Everlast. It offers sub-$500 MIG welding machines, with its most expensive model, the heavy-duty PowerMTS 400 being less than $3,000.
For TIG, Everlast’s most famous products, prices range from $350 to $3500.
If you are someone who doesn’t mind their products being manufactured abroad with generic parts, then Everlast could be for you. In some ways, it is the best of both worlds.
Offshore production, combined with freely available components, allows the Everlast products to be competitively priced. In addition, you have the customer service and backing of a U.S. based company.
Hence, the Everlast brand could suit people on a limited budget, or those taking their first tentative steps into the world of welding.
One of the more mysterious welding brands currently on the market, although it is generating a little buzz.
In short, I do not know. I first came across AHP back in 2013 when a friend of mine purchased a product off the internet.
Having never seen one before, I was a little intrigued and took time to chat to him about it—he knew as little as me.
Since then, although I have seen the increasing popularity of this brand, there is little information about it.
It is a Chinese company, although it appears that AHP has a USA postal address. Some of the models seem somewhat similar to existing Everlast products, although whether this is a rebranding, or a “tribute,” I am unsure. Probably the latter.
AHP’s product line is minimal. Currently, it appears there is only one TIG and one MIG machine available. But then, having a large range of products is not always a bonus.
It seems that, when AHP does make a welder, it makes it well. Many forums and reviews praise this brand’s products for easy operation and providing quality results.
For example, AHP’s TIG welder, the AlphaTig 200X, came in the number one spot in our Best TIG Welders for the Money article. With a massive amperage and AC/DC choice, all for a very reasonable price, it had to be top of the list.
Equally, the AlphaMig 250 has been well received for being a machine of industrial quality at the price of a home or small business machine.
In addition to welding machines, AHP also sells a plasma cutter, a few torches and pedals.
Although prices start just above $1,000 for both the MIG and TIG welders, which sounds a little expensive, do not let that put you off.
These machines offer capabilities that you would normally be paying at least double that for.
If you are looking for highly capable, reliable machines that are much cheaper than the competition, AHP could be the choice.
Admittedly, its product lines are small, but there is very little criticism from the few people who own one of these welders.
With offices in over 28 countries, Fronius has grown from a small operation to a worldwide company, known for its reliable welders.
Fronius began as a producer of battery chargers in 1945. The firm, Fronius International GmbH, was started in Austria by Günter Fronius and his wife, Friedl.
By 1950, it had branched into welding transformers. Focusing on technology, the business grew and was handed over to the Fronius children in the 1980s.
Today, still run by the family, Fronius has split into three distinct parts—Perfect Charging, Solar Energy and Perfect Welding.
Fronius retails everything that is welding related. Including safety gear, all types of welding machine, tools, torches and even robotic solutions.
This brand’s welding machine product range is vast, whether you are looking for small home use or heavy industrial.
For example, the Fronius TransPocket 150 is a simple to use inverter arc welder that would perfectly suit the hobbyist. Or, the water-cooled Fronius MagicWave 230i will satisfy even the most demanding professional.
Fronius is one of the more expensive brands on the market. Although the more basic machines may only be suitable for the beginner, they are priced for the professional.
As far as I am aware, its cheapest inverter welder retails around $760, and the lowest MIG at $2,500. Prices then increase to over $12,000. Mainly, Fronius’ products are designed for high-industry end use.
Due to the price of Fronius welders, they are a commitment. If you are a professional welder who will be exposing your machine to daily work, it could be a good choice.
Furthermore, these are machines that will meet the technical demands too. High voltage and high amperage machines mean that even the toughest jobs can be completed.
With high levels of reliability, these machines will not lead to downtime. What’s more, they have a very reassuring warranty offer of up to five years.
Built out of a love for automobiles, the Eastwood brand covers everything, from welders through to auto body painting.
Back in 1978, Curt Strohacker, a keen restorer of classic American cars, saw a need for a one-stop shop for this growing market. In response, he founded the Eastwood brand.
To begin, most of the products Eastwood sold were metal-finishing equipment. The trade being completed out of auto magazines and trade shows.
Over the next thirty years, both Eastwood’s customer base and the product lines increased dramatically. The birth of the internet provided a further boost to these numbers.
Today, Eastwood retails over 5,000 products, including the all-important welding equipment.
In addition to its automotive sundries (paint, tools, blasting, abrasives, etc.), Eastwood has a large range of welding equipment.
The welders are designed with the motor enthusiast in mind. However, don’t assume that they are, therefore, “light use” machines, or exclusively for cars.
Admittedly, Eastwood does have some of the smaller 110-volt MIG welders, such as the popular Eastwood MIG 135. This model is ideal for auto bodies and modeling work.
However, it has some heavy duty 220-volt welders, like the Eastwood 175, which recently came top in our Best 220V MIG Welder review. Running at 135 amps, this is powerful enough to take on the real heavy duty projects.
Furthermore, Eastwood offers a full range of welding safety equipment, tools, consumables and carts. One of which, its MIG/TIG/Plasma cart, came runner-up in our popular Best Welding Cart for Plasma Cutters article.
As Eastwood is designed for the home enthusiast more than the professional welder, its prices are competitive.
Eastwood's lowest-priced MIG and TIG welders are around $380 and $750 dollars, respectively, up to a maximum of $1,500.
If you’re looking for a reliable machine that is not going to make a large dent in your bank account, Eastwood could be a good choice.
Especially so if you are an auto enthusiast, as there are many online user forums in which to discuss welding topics.
Furthermore, if you do like the “club” appeal, this brand is often at car shows, helping and assisting customers with queries. It even has a direct phone line, dedicated to DIY advice.
All of the above brands will provide you with welding equipment that is safe and produces the results you require.
However, the choice of the ideal welding tools and equipment depends on your individual requirements.
If there is a brand that takes your interest, check out our other articles to see the specifications of its products.
In that way, you will have both the equipment you need, and the peace of mind of your ideal brand.
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Hi, my name is Gregory! I have been welding practically all of my life and love it. As I have gotten older I have started to weld less and less, so in order to continue my love for welding I created this website. I like to write about my experiences and help you all become welders. I hope that you enjoy the site!
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