Best Portable Welder – TIG, MIG, and Stick


It is always crucial to have a highly reliable and high-quality welder for welding skids, vessels, or simply doing hobbyist work around the house. Gone are those days when welders were expensive and bulky.

Portable welders are compact, making it easy to store them when not in use. They are well-loved and used for general domestic work and non-code maintenance use.

The type of welding you intend to do will determine the kind of portable welder you should purchase. But what is a portable welder, you might be asking?

What is a Portable Welder?

A portable welder – or ‘portable welding machine’ assists professional welders or DIY enthusiasts in producing a high-quality and safe weld. Portable welders are offered in 3 distinct versions: TIG (tungsten inert gas), MIG (metal inert gas), and Stick portable welders. They are usually less than 50 pounds and can function well on domestic voltage sockets.

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Buying Guide: Parameters to Selecting a Good Portable Welder

Before you shop for an excellent portable welder, you need to consider several factors. These will help you make the right buying decision when the time comes for you to purchase your desired product.

Type of Welder

TIG welder– TIG welding is a complex type of welding generally applied on thin metals. The electrodes this machine uses are made of non-consumable tungsten. It is shielded with a shielding gas nozzle and can be used with different filler rods of different metal types of varying thickness.

The electrodes can also be used without any filler rod, especially if your surfaces meet clean enough edges. This is a process known as fusion.

TIG welding is complicated and involves controlling the heat with your foot, controlling the filler metal rod with one hand while controlling the electrode producing the weld with the other. This makes TIG welding much more aesthetically pleasing as it creates high-quality, high-strength welds.

MIG welder– This welder extends wire electrodes whenever you pull the trigger. Electricity travels between the wire and the base metal you are working on, thereby creating an arc that summarily melts the wire. The wire becomes filler metal when it melts and joins with the base metal, thereby producing high-strength welds.

MIG welding provides the easiest type of welding. It produces clean welds with zero slags and less cleanup than other methods. MIG welders pair with metals of different thicknesses, though compatibility ultimately depends on your machine’s amperage.

Stick welder– This type of welding involves holding the electrode holder by hand while the welding machine is connected to the base metal. When the electrode contacts the base metal, electricity travels between them immediately, thus creating the arc.

The welds produced by stick welding are considered the most beautiful. But you may have to put up with a great deal of splatter, which requires immediate cleanup. Generally considered the most challenging types of welding to master, stick welding presents a challenging learning curve.

Stick welding provides excellent capabilities for outside welding on dirty surfaces.


Voltage refers to electrical pressure and subsequently the formation of the weld’s visible part. It does not have all that much of an effect on the depth. Low voltage welds form taller and thinner welds, while higher voltage welds are flatter and broader with smoother edges.

You must find the right or perfect voltage for your material. This enables high-quality and good-looking welds.


The overall strength of an electrical current generated by your welder measures in amperage. The depth of your weld’s penetration, as well as the melt-off rate, are controlled by amperage.

Higher amperage makes a deeper weld filled with much more material, while lower amperage uses less material, which only achieves shallow penetrations.

Power Supply

Some welders operate on a much higher amperage breaker than what exists in most homes. Most homes have 15-amp and 20-amp breakers that power their outlets. Though rated for 110v, a few welders are designed to operate on a 50-amp or 60-amp circuit.

If your home does not have high amperage breakers, you may have to add a higher amperage breaker and run some wires in order to run your welder.

You need to bear this in mind early in order to save yourself the headache, confusion, and even disappointment down the road.

MIG, known as metal inert gas welding, generates a welding electrode on an auto-fed spool from the welder. The arc generates with the help of an electrical that flows between the base metal and the wire. MIG is generally thought of as an easier type of welding than TIG. Welds generated by MIG typically have little need for clean-up.

The Top Nine Picks

We’ve scoured the internet to humbly present our top nine picks for the best portable welder. We choose three stick machines, three MIG welders, and three TIG welders. Some of these machines can even perform double duty and provide different types of welding capabilities. So, without further ado, here’s our three best from each category: stick, MIG, and TIG.

Best Stick Portable Welders

Stick welding, known as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW), uses electricity to melt a metal stick to fuse two pieces of metal together. Stick welding is simple and has high adoption rates by hobbyists and general use welders.

Ironton ARC80 Stick

Ironton portable stick welder

The Ironton ARC800 provides a utility stick welder at a great price. Its inverter technology optimizes power use and provides a cooling fan with thermal overload protection. Its a proven and reliable choice for mild steel, stainless steel, and cast iron.

Key Features

  • Thermal overload and cooling fan protection
  • Adjustable amperage dial
  • Quick-connect welding cable connections

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)12.24
Welding processStick, DC TIG
Welding materialCast iron, steel, stainless steel, hard surfacing
Length of Power cord (ft.)6.5
Dimensions (inches)11 x 4 x 7.25
Manufacturer’s warranty1 year limited warranty


  • Highly economical choice
  • Extremely portable at under 10 pounds


  • Some users report current to electrode fluctuation.
  • Maximum current output is only 80 amps.

Hobart Stickmate 160i Dual Voltage DC Arc Welder

Hobart stick welder

The Hobert Stickmate welder offers beefier performance than the Ironton ARC800, allowing for current up to 160 amps. The high power input allows for metal joining of thicker materials. At 15 pounds, the Hobart Stickmate is easy to maneuver.

Key Features

  • Arc welding capabilities
  • Adjustable shoulder strap for easy movability
  • DC output for great arc control

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)15
Welding processStick
Welding materialMild steel
Length of Power cord (ft.)6.5
Dimensions (inches)13 3/8 x 7 1/8 x 10½
Manufacturer’s warranty3 year limited warranty


  • Smooth and consistent welding bead
  • Dual voltage (120V/240V) capabilities
  • Quiet Operation


  • Moderately high price
  • Some criticism of customer support policies

YESWELDER Stick Welder ARC-165DS

YesWelder portable stick welder

This YESWELDER machine provides dual voltage capabilities at 110V and 220V. It can weld up to 5/32″ (110V) and 1/4″ (220V) thicknesses. The appropriate current is immediately selected based on the specification of electrode diameter. Weighing in at a shade over 15 pounds, this welder is easy to transport and can be fitted with TIG capacity.

Key Features

  • Can be fitted with TIG capacity
  • Fits cellulose electrode welding
  • It comes with DC stick function

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)15.12
Welding processStick
Welding materialCarbon Steel/Stainless Steel
Length of Power cord (ft.)6.0
Voltage110/120V Dual Volt
Dimensions (inches)18 x 1 x 7.75
Manufacturer’s warranty1 year


  • Reliable performance
  • Economical pricing


  • Some user complaints about the LED light not functioning properly
  • While advertised as TIG compliant, not optimized for this use

Best Metal Inert Gas (MIG) Portable Welders

SereneLife Inverter MIG Welding Generator- Dual Voltage Power

SereneLife portable MIG welder

SereneLife is a diversified goods company and this welder likely lands as one of their best-known products. Their nearly perfect customer ratings show how well they struck a balance between entry-level pricing and professional performance. This Digital MIG Welding Machine maintains a 60% rated duty cycle and uses 0.6-0.8mm flux-cored wire. It comes with a complete starter kit which includes a welding gun, ground wire clamp, brushes, protective masks.

Weighing in at only 24 pounds, the SereneLife Inverter MIG portable welder helps out middle-aged guys like me from hyper-extending back or wearing out my arms. It is also dual voltage rated at 110V/220V. This particular set-up allows for welding with Argon gas. Don’t plan to use Argon gas? Buy the no-gas option and save $40.

Key features

  • Easy to read numbers of the scale
  • Test data support output voltage and stable performance
  • Protects transformer and components from damage and corrosion

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)24
Welding processMIG
Welding materialMild steel
Length of Power cord5.91
Voltage110/220V dual voltage
Dimensions (inches)15.7 x 6.7 x 11.8
Manufacturer’s warrantyN/A


  • Adjustable welding speed
  • 18-gauge capacity
  • Complete starter kit
  • Solid casting for easy travel
  • Economical


  • Kit does not come with welding wire
  • A few users complain of weld splatter, but this viewpoint is definitely a minority opinion.

Hobart Handler 140 MIG Welder

Hobart portable MIG welder

The Hobart Handler 140 Flux-Cored/MIG Welder runs on a 115V domestic power supply. Weld thin gauge steel (24-ga.) or up to 1/4in. steel plate. Plus, it is handy and precise for the welder who wants to work on an auto frame, domestic repairs, and positions that require high maneuverability. This unit gives you great power and flexibility.

Key Features

  • Quick-release drive roll system for easy wire changes
  • Dual-gauge regulator for swift conversion to MIG welding
  • Ten-feet work lead with built-in MIG solenoid valve

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)57
Welding processFlux-core, MIG
Welding materialStainless steel, steel, aluminum
Length of Power cord (ft.)10
Dimensions (inches)12 x 18 x 24
Manufacturer’s warranty12 months parts/12 months labor


  • Lots of reviews mentioning its smooth bead.
  • Easily runs various wire material types.


  • Some internal cooling fan errors have been reported.
  • Do not have a spare nozzle.
  • Additional consumables such as wires and tips are not included.

Klutch MIG Welder with Multi Processes

Klutch portable MIG welder

This 120 Volt Klutch Multi-Process MIG Portable Welder is a standard inverter-based welder developed to run automated and commercial tasks. It provides capacity for MIG, DC Stick, Flux-Core, and DC TIG welding. The inverter-based system gives enhanced power production from a shorted transformer, occurring in a super-lightweight order that weighs up to 50% less than comparably powered old standards. It runs quiet and its consistent power delivers beautiful looking weld in the hands of the right operator.

Key Features

  • Meters display real-time welding parameters
  • DC TIG, MIG, Stick welding capabilities
  • Digital meters allow you to preset welding amperage for stick welding, etc.

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)28
Welding processMIG, Arc, Flux-core, TIG
Welding materialStainless steel, steel, aluminum, cast iron
Length of Power cord (ft.)6
Dimensions (inches)19.7 x 8.7 x 15
Manufacturer’s warranty3 year limited warranty


  • Inverter technology
  • Welds steel, stainless steel, aluminum
  • Highly flexible process: MIG, TIG, stick, flux-cored capabilities
  • 3 year warranty


  • Does not show wire speed on the screen.
  • Welding speed appears in volts not amps.
  • Several reports of a defective pressure regulator.

Best Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Portable Welders

TIG, known as tungsten inert gas welding, allows for the joining of small and thin materials. A non-consumable tungsten electrode heats the metal. Compared to MIG welding, it is slower and requires a high degree of expertise for proper application. The following welders provide for TIG welding and

Forney Easy Weld 140 MP

Fourney TIG welder

The Forney Easy Weld 140 MP is a multi-processor portable welder that switches between MIG, DC TIG, and stick welding with no difficulty. This welder is purely fabricated with an all-metal case and metal wire drive gathering. The welder is large enough to deal with two or ten-pound moves of wire and highlights infinite voltage and wire supplies speed checks to help dial in the perfect weld. With this portable welder, you can go through gas or gasless wire to .035″, and up to 1/8″ stick terminals. Weighs only 25 pounds generated with the metal material.

Key Features

  • 8-foot electrode holder
  • Integrated handle with torch wrap
  • All-metal case as well as metal wire drive assembly

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)25.8
Welding processStick, TIG, MIG
Welding materialMetal
Length of Power cordN/A
Dimensions (inches)14.19 x 19.31 x 11.61
Manufacturer’s warranty12-month warranty


Tremendous flexibility in welding type

  • Anti-spatter sprays
  • Diffusers


  • Faulty tip issues
  • Overheating issues

Weldpro Digital TIG

Weldpro portable TIG welder

This welder has a 40% duty cycle at full amperage power supply for DC TIG and a 60% duty cycle for AC TIG. The dual AC/DC capability allows the user to choose DC welding for carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, and many other metals. The Weldpro also possesses the capacity to switch to AC welding and service aluminum as well.

Key Features

  • Dual AC/DC capability
  • 60 percent duty cycle for AC TIG
  • The trigger button and foot pedal provide a pretty robust interface

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)31.3
Welding processTIG and Stick
Welding materialCarbon steel, copper, stainless steel, aluminum
Length of Power cord (ft.)10
Voltage11/220V dual voltage
Dimensions (inches)17.6 x 7.9 x 16
Manufacturer’s warranty3-year warranty


  • Foot pedal and trigger button provide easy and robust interface.
  • Professional rocker style design
  • Operates on both AC and DC Current


  • Front panel blinking issue.
  • Noise in the voltage supply
  • High price


YesWelder portable welder

The glitzier cousin of the YESWELDER Stick Welder ARC-165DS, this 200-amp TIG and Stick Welder provides more power and TIG capability at a slightly higher cost. Despite weighing only 20 pounds, this welder provides TIG capabilities at either 110V or 220V. This machine can weld tempered steel, titanium, and copper metal. The Interface controls are simple to work. An ARC and TIG switch and adjustable ARC and TIG power stream provide the necessary power.

Key Features

  • Automatic temperature control
  • Over- and under-voltage protection
  • LCD amperage display

Product Specifications

Product weight (lbs.)20
Welding processTIG
Welding materialTitanium, copper, and tempered steel
Length of Power cord8
Dimensions (inches)15.7 x 11.8 x 6.3
Manufacturer’s warrantyN/A


  • Automatic temperature control
  • Over and under-voltage protection
  • Under-voltage protection
  • High tungsten life
  • LCD amperage display


  • Some durability issues reported.
  • Torch and gas starting problems have been encountered.

In Conclusion

Any of these nine machines discussed above should do wonders in your workshop or job site. Please browse the rest of the Punchlist Zero site to get technical details on metal joining, structural, and piping fabrication. And best of luck in your welding adventures!