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5 Best Welders for Auto-Body Work (MIG & TIG) in 2021 – Top Picks & Reviews

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a welder for auto-body work

Whether you’re a hobbyist or seriously into auto-body work, having a good welder makes all the difference in finishing your cars quickly and to the highest quality.

There are plenty of welders to choose from, and everyone has their own opinion of what they like, so not every welder we have below will suit you. However, we have listed our five favorite welders for automotive work and reviewed each one to show their pros and cons and help you decide what will be the best welder for auto-body work for you.

Whether you’re a MIG welder, a TIG welder, or want a machine you can do both with, we have reviewed a range of different welders to help you narrow down a good choice for your next project.

A Quick Comparison on the best welders (updated in 2021)

Image Product Details
Best MIG Welder
Winner
Miller Electric 211 Miller Electric 211
  • Heavy-duty
  • Extensive range of settings
  • Excellent stock MIG gun
  • Best TIG Welder
    Second place
    PRIMEWELD TIG225X PRIMEWELD TIG225X
  • Pulse arc capabilities
  • Excellent customer service
  • Foot pedal and finger switch
  • Best Multi-Process Welder
    Third place
    WeldproWeldpro 200 Amp WeldproWeldpro 200 Amp
  • Determines complex settings
  • Multi-purpose
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Hobart Handler 210 MVP Hobart Handler 210 MVP
  • Quality machine
  • Simple to use Short leads
  • Wide welding capability
  • Forney Easy Weld 261 Forney Easy Weld 261
  • Low price
  • Simple to use
  • Wide welding capability
  • The 5 Best Welders for Auto Body Work

    1. Miller Electric 211 – Best MIG Welder

    Miller Electric 211, 120/240VAC

    The Miller Electric 211 dual-voltage welder is the best portable machine for MIG welding automotive work available online. It’s slightly more expensive than the other machines we reviewed, but its capacity to perform far exceeds the price difference.

    It’s one of the most reliable welders on the market, and yet is low-priced and portable compared to other elite MIG welders that cost significantly more. Most stock MIG guns fall below the standard for comfort and the most effective welding, but this stock gun is not far behind expensive aftermarket guns.

    The leads are ten feet long, which isn’t as long as most automotive welders would like, but again, for a stock torch, this is much longer than most original leads. The range of settings on this welder is extensive to ensure every part of your auto-body project is welded effectively.

    There’s a helpful chart on the inside of the welder door if you need it, and there’s a plate gauge guide around the voltage dial, which is handy. Overall, this is the best MIG welder online for auto-body work, and we highly recommend it if you’re serious about auto welding work.

    Pros
    • Heavy-duty
    • Extensive range of settings
    • Excellent stock MIG gun
    • Compact
    • Ideal for automotive work
    • Medium price
    Cons
    • No stick or TIG capabilities

    2. PRIMEWELD TIG225X – Best TIG Welder

    PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC/DC TIG Welder

    Not everyone likes to TIG weld their automotive projects, but some people do, and it makes the nicest finish on a car when people take the time to use this process. If you’re in this camp, then the PRIMEWELD TIG225X is the best TIG welder for auto-body work.

    It has a wide range of settings, so you have every opportunity to complete your project as efficiently and cleanly as any TIG welder could provide. It has a broad amperage range, which won’t always be necessary for auto-body work, but if you need to do any other repairs, it’s handy to have.

    This machine comes with an air-cooled CK Superflex torch, which makes maneuvering around the car a breeze when you need to get into tight and awkward spots. It’s a very comfy torch to use and doesn’t heat up too much for bodywork.

    PRIMEWELD has the highest customer service standards you will find in the welding market. Not only is this welder really affordable, but you will be taken care of from the moment of purchase for as long as you need support from PRIMEWELD. If you need a TIG welder for auto work, this is the one we recommend.

    Pros
    • Pulse arc capabilities
    • Excellent customer service
    • Foot pedal and finger switch
    • High-frequency start
    • Up-slope/down-slope functions
    Cons
    • No MIG capability

    3. Weldpro 200 Amp – Best Multi-Process Welder

    Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder

    For a machine that you can use to both MIG and TIG weld auto-body work, we highly recommend this small multi-process welder. It’s low-priced, and while it doesn’t have the same TIG settings as the PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp TIG Welder, it’s excellent for beginners and experienced welders alike.

    It’s particularly easy to learn on or develop new welding skills with, as it’s a synergic-based machine with preset internal parameters that take the challenge out of figuring out welder settings. It has the best range of settings for different plate gauge and materials.

    It’s smaller than many multi-process welders. It’s ideal for welding around a car and has the same length leads as the Miller Electric 211, 120/240VAC. It does get filthy easily when welding automotive projects, but it looks great nonetheless and will give you everything you need for auto-body TIG and MIG work.

    Pros
    • Determines complex settings
    • Multi-purpose
    • Easy to set up and use
    • Automatic welding switch
    • Great for automotive work
    Cons
    • Gets dirty easily

    4. Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder

    Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder

    This is our second-favorite MIG-only machine for automotive bodywork. Hobart makes quality machines for a reasonable price, but the Handler 210 is not up to the Miller standard, which has brought it to our fourth spot.

    It’s a good machine all around and will give you what’s necessary to complete your automotive projects, but the experience won’t be as good. It has the same amperage range, but fewer settings for peak performance. The leads are shorter and not as high-quality, but it’s a simple machine to learn on if you’re only starting out.

    This machine is easy to adjust the spatter out of welding, and it runs a tidy bead to give you the best look with minimal work. If you’re on a low budget and still want a decent MIG welder, we recommend this machine, as it should serve you well. Otherwise, spending a bit more on the Miller Electric 211, 120/240VAC should give you a better welding experience.

    Pros
    • Quality machine
    • Simple to use Short leads
    • Wide welding capability
    Cons
    • No stick or TIG capabilities
    • Short leads

    5. Forney Easy Weld 261 MIG Welder

    Forney Easy Weld 261, 140 FC-i MIG Welder

    Last on our list is the small Forney Easy Weld 261, which runs up to 140 amps at full noise. It isn’t the best machine available, but it’s well under half the price of the Hobart Handler 210 MVP MIG Welder. Apart from the smaller amperage range, it runs welds that are just as tidy.

    For car bodywork, 140 amps should normally be enough to do the job, so this isn’t much of an issue. However, most people prefer a wider range of amperage for more diversity. The leads are a bit shorter, and the quality isn’t quite to the same standard, but it’s good nonetheless if you’re really on a low budget.

    It’s a small portable machine with a good range of adjustments, and Forney has some of the easiest instruction manuals to follow if you need one to set up and run the welder. This is not our favorite machine among these five, but for a low budget, it’s well worth considering.

    Pros
    • Low price
    • Simple to use
    • Wide welding capability
    Cons
    • No stick or TIG capabilities
    • Short leads

    Buyer’s Guide: Purchasing the Best Welders for Auto-Body Work

    Automotive welding is more challenging than your standard everyday workshop welding. It pays to do a bit more research on the best welder for you before you purchase, to ensure you have the best machine to finish your projects to the highest quality in the fastest time.

    The three following points are necessary to think about before you buy a welder. There is no one welder that fits all people, so it’s helpful to personalize these to establish what’s right for you.

    Your Capability

    Before choosing a welder for auto-body work, think honestly about how capable you are as a welder and what you want to progress towards in the future. Many of us like to think of ourselves as better than we are, which is great for boosting confidence as timid welders don’t generally get very far quickly. But when choosing a machine, what you buy makes a huge difference in your performance and progression.

    If you’re just starting out MIG welding and are not sure about the functions of a welder, it may be tempting to buy the most basic welder to get through the initial learning stage and progress to a better welder later. This is fine if you won’t be doing much welding to start with, but if you’re keen to progress, you’ll want to move on to a better welder soon and have to fork out more cash for an upgrade.

    If you dive into a high-end TIG welder with lots of functions, like the PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp TIG Welder, you may be held back for a while trying to understand how to set the machine for the different types of welds. In this case, buying a good TIG welder, like the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder, will mean you can start easily and begin learning the initial techniques required to TIG weld successfully.

    The Range of Your Auto-Body Work

    After establishing a clear opinion of your capability, it’s helpful to know the range of auto-body work you’ll be doing and whether you want the welder for any other work. This determines what amperage range you buy and whether you want a MIG, TIG, or multi-process machine.

    It always helps to be optimistic in this area, expecting to do more than you initially think. There is nothing worse than underestimating the extent of your welding work and not having the amperage range or capability to weld what you eventually need to.

    You can buy two high-quality machines if you plan to do extensive MIG and TIG work, but with the range of multi-process machines progressing into such advanced and effective multi-welders, it’s good to save money and space by buying one machine with multiple welding processes.

    Your Budget

    You generally can’t change your budget, and this tends to be a big determining factor as you can only buy what you can afford. However, if you have the budget for more but only want to spend the lowest amount possible, keep the big picture in mind.

    A low-priced machine looks good for your bank account at the time of purchase, but if you’re serious about welding, it’s not always the best long-term option. This is often where people lose the most money by taking a short-term approach and buying a low-quality machine, thinking it’s a good deal.

    If you need a welder to perform for you to complete auto-body projects, you don’t want to end up paying for a new welder every year or sooner through low-priced, low-quality machines that don’t last.


    Conclusion

    Our reviews of these five welders are based on our five favorite types of machines for auto-body work. There is a large range online to choose from, but we have found these to be the best. Our top pick is the Miller Electric 211, 120/240VAC. It’s hands down the best performing and enduring MIG machine on the market for automotive work at a reasonable price.

    If you prefer to TIG weld your cars, the PRIMEWELD TIG225X 225 Amp IGBT AC/DC TIG Welder is an excellent choice. It has a wide variety of settings so you can finish your bodywork to the highest standard without a struggle. It’s comparable to top-of-the-range TIG machines, but costs half the price.

    Our favorite multi-process welder for both MIG and TIG auto work is the Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder. It’s the best machine to learn with, and while it doesn’t come with lots of setting adjustments, the synergic-styled settings let you weld at the prime welding balance for your particular projects.

    We hope these reviews have helped you in deciding the best welder for auto-body works for you. Feel free to leave your comments below; we are always glad to hear from you.

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    Cameron Dekker
     

    Cameron grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a once-proud steel town on the Lehigh River, where he got a taste of TIG welding in his high school shop class. He holds certificates for Certified WeldingEducator (CWE) and Certified Resistance Welding Technician (CRWT) from the American Welding Institute. His interests include scuba diving, sculpture, and kayaking.