5 Best MIG Welder For 1/2″ Steel: (Reviews In 2022)

Thick metals need more heat to make the weld strong and durable. To avoid getting tricked by marketing terms and false promises, you have to know the minimum Amp and Volt requirement.

Here, our concern is welding half-inch thick steel pieces. Now, you must know the answer to the following question while buying the best MIG welder for ½ steel.

What size welder do I need for ½” steel?

MIG welding machines with an output of 250 Amps and 220 Volts or above are the suitable ones to bond half-inch thick steel. I have selected and reviewed such welders in this article.

Our Recommendations On Best MIG Welder For 1/2″ Steel:
  1. Everlast PowerMTS 251Si – Best Overall
  2. Eastwood Mig 250 – Runner-up
  3. Mophorn Welding Machine – Best Budget
  4. Ironman 250A – Most Expensive
  5. Forney 319 270-Amp – Higher Capacity

Best MIG Welder For ½ Steel:

You may find the following products to be very expensive. But such high power and reliable features cost a lot to manufacture. Moreover, you can use them for not only MIG but also several other applications. After a quick overview, let’s get into the detailed reviews.

1. Everlast PowerMTS 251Si – Best Overall

Available On Amazon

Output Amperage Range: 30A-250A

Dual Voltage: 120V/240V

Wire Feed Speed: 600 IPM (Max.)

Standard Drive Roll Wire Size: .030”-.045”

Torch Wire Length: 10’ for MIG

Considering price, features, and performance, Everlast PowerMTS 251Si is the best MIG welder for ½ steel. You will love its build quality, the durability of the accessories, and different modes for several welding techniques. Let’s talk about them in detail.

Unique Welding Capability

According to the real customer reviews and professionals, this 250 amp MIG welder is a beast. Whether you are into MIG, TIG, Stick, or Flux-cored welding, 251Si can impress you with its performance.

What makes it stand out is its unique capability of performing Pulse MIG, Synergic MIG, Pulse TIG, and adjustable MIG/Stick Arc force.

Pulse MIG is beneficial for aluminum; however, the synergic mode is useful for different metals including steel. It ensures stable wire burn off which is important for smooth finishing.

How it helps is by setting the pulse parameters automatically. As a result, uniform penetration and weld bead profile is confirmed. Nonetheless, don’t worry about operability. Because the machine is designed in a way that even novice welders can figure it out within a short time.

Great Quality

Another fact I love about this amazing machine is its build-quality. The components used are very power-efficient and durable making them last longer than most of the competitor models.

Due to the hot-start intensity and hot-start duration control, it is possible to adjust the parameters of stick mode more precisely.

Specifically, the foot pedal quality will surely grab your attention as Everlast hasn’t cheap out on this accessory. All I want to say that you should buy this beast if you don’t have a problem with the budget. From beginner to professional, DIY to industrial work, anyone can rely on it.

👍 Pros:
  • Synergic MIG, Pulse MIG, and Pulse TIG in one machine
  • Includes lift start or high-frequency start for TIG
  • Doesn’t make much noise while operating
  • Several modes with on-board memory
  • Amazing 40% duty cycle at the highest power output
👎 Cons:
  • No option for AC TIG welding

2. Eastwood MIG 250 – Runner-up

Available On Amazon

Output Amperage Range: 30A-250A

Dual Voltage: 120V/240V

Wire Feed Speed: 629 IPM (Max.)

Standard Drive Roll Wire Size: 0.023″ to 0.045”

Torch Wire Length: 10’ for MIG

Having a 60% duty cycle, compact size, portability, and infinitely adjustable power output range, it seems more preferable than the top pick. However, that is not the case as Eastwood MIG 250 doesn’t have other features. Such as, you can’t get a pulse and synergic MIG which is necessary for fine finishes.

Furthermore, there is no AC or DC TIG welding option, and no way to save or program-specific parameters. That is the reason I had to put it in second place. Now, let’s talk some about the features that separate this one from the others.

Duty Cycle

Compared to the previous one, this one comes with a 25% more duty cycle at the highest power output or 250 Amps. It requires you to connect the welder to a 240VAC line.

On the other hand, the manufacturer also claims that you turn it on with 120VAC input, it is possible to get 6 minutes of running time at 140 Amps. Both are above average and lets you weld without facing any interruptions. The machine has an advanced cooling system and safe circuitry which prevents the internal components from getting too hot.


The 66-pound machine has a compact design with a nice and flexible handle on the top. You can carry it within the job site as many times as you need without hurting your hands.

It allows infinitely adjustable voltage and wire feeding speed for good-quality weld regardless of metal thickness up to half inches.

Because of the inverter technology, you can enjoy high-power welding with smooth finishes in a briefcase-size machine. Also, it ensures a constant power output so that the weld doesn’t look messy.

👍 Pros:
  • Very easy to operate with round knobs
  • Inverter technology for maximum power efficiency
  • Compact and portable design
  • Adjustable voltage, amperage, and wire feed speed
  • Capable of welding different materials
👎 Cons:
  • No Synergic MIG or TIG welding option

3. Mophorn Welding Machine – Best Budget

Available On Amazon

Output Amperage Range: 30A-250A

Dual Voltage: 110V/220V

Wire Feed Speed: Not Specified

Standard Drive Roll Wire Size: 0.030″ to 0.045″

Torch Wire Length: 10’ for MIG

So far, I have only talked about the expensive ones because 250Amp output requires some expensive components. Those who have recently started welding and want to level up without spending a lot should check this one out. For less than 400 bucks, you can get almost all the features of the top pick.

Easy Operability

One of the main benefits of this one from Mophorn is its front design. It includes knobs and a LED displays with markings of ranges. Turn the knobs as you see fit for the welding requirement and it would be enough.

Included Accessories

Another thing I like about the machine is the accessories that the manufacturer includes in the package. Folding musk, brush, welding slag hammer, and 1kg carbon steel gas shielded wire come with it. Overall, this is the best MIG welder for half-inch steel under the budget.

Using different modes, you will find stick welding is easier compared to MIG welding in this machine.

The portable design includes a small shape, handle on top, and lightweight construction. Despite having lots of praise-worthy features, some may not like it. For heavy-duty industrial works, experts don’t recommend this one. It is more suitable for thin metal sheets and repair tasks.

👍 Pros:
  • MIG, MMA, and TIG for versatile welding applications
  • Portable handle for effortless carrying
  • Perfect for thin metal sheets and repairing
  • Affordable and a great choice for beginners
👎 Cons:
  • Not for heavy-duty works

4. Ironman 250A – Most Expensive

Available On Amazon

Output Amperage Range: 20A-250A

Voltage Options: 12 Settings

Wire Feed Speed: 700 IPM (Max.)

Standard Drive Roll Wire Size: 0.023″ to 0.045″

Torch Wire Length: 15’ for MIG

Transformer-based welders are always bulky by design but they come with specialized capabilities. What I mean is that you won’t be able to perform different welding techniques on this one. Yet, experts love it for the results in MIG welding thick metals.

Bonding Thick Metals

As the welder can deliver up to 250 Amps constantly with an input of 230V, anyone can perform MIG welding on half-inch mild steel in a single pass. How fast you can weld depends on your skill and the wire feeding speed.

The maximum 700 inches per minute speed is enough to support even the most skilled persons in the industry. Furthermore, this machine from Hobert is compatible with both gas and gasless welding. So, match the tip diameter of the gun and use a flux-cored wire without any issue.

Duty Cycle

According to the manufacturer, you can get up to 60% duty cycle at 175 Amps output and 230V input. Based on different settings, the cycle or time can increase or decrease.

Amazingly, the welder can provide up to a 100% duty cycle with CO2 gas. However, the time gets decreased for mixed gas.


The Ironman outperforms its competitor inverter-based models with its high arc quality, voltage control system, duty cycle, and smooth output power. As a result, penetrating thick metals and ensuring the strongest possible bond can be achieved with this welding machine.

It specializes in heavy-duty industrial tasks which require performance for longer hours, and reliability over anything.

Moreover, it has casters and wheels built-in so that anyone can easily move around the job site. The front of the machine has a slope so that you can easily and quickly access the control panel.

Furthermore, there are 12 different voltage control settings, wire feed speed control, and other customization options. All those great features and benefits don’t come in cheap. If you are a professional who doesn’t have a problem with the budget must get this one.

👍 Pros:
  • Flawless weld ensuring almost no spatter and easy after-weld cleaning
  • Built-in casters and wheels for effortless moving
  • Long cable and wire helpful for industrial tasks
  • User-friendly design with easy controlling
  • Tool-less brake tension knob and hinged door for easy access
👎 Cons:
  • Very expensive
  • Input power requirements make it unsuitable for home uses

5. Forney 319 270-Amp – Higher Capacity

Available On Amazon

Output Amperage Range: 270A (Max)

Voltage: 230V 1-Phase

Wire Feed Speed: 900 IPM

Standard Drive Roll Wire Size: 0.023″ to 0.045″

Torch Wire Length: 15’ for MIG

The previous welder costs a lot and many of you might not buy it for a budget limitation. So, I have listed another similar product that is less costly and capable of providing almost the same results. One benefit is that it can provide up to 270 Amps on the output. Also, it comes with a 15’ wire for the gun and you can’t find such a long cable in other models.

Powerful Output

You know that the required power for MIG welding 1/2″ steel is 250 Amps. All previous models meet the standard. Now, this one has even more capability and it comes without asking for more money than the Ironman 250A welder.

Long Cables

So far, we have seen 10’ cables but this one comes with a 15’ MIG gun and power cord. The benefit of having such long cables are applicable in large job sites where one needs to work with large and thick steel structures.

Moreover, the machine has a good wire feeding speed with precise control. The results are amazing as the amount of spatter is almost non-existent. Also, you can adjust the voltage in ten steps.

This is a 1-phase welder which is more suitable for small maintenance work, general repairs, art work, and light fabrications.

Another notable feature is the 2T and 4T options which allows normal trigger pull on/off or sustained long welds. Its large metal box houses the spool and anyone can easily access it. Moreover, the welder is also compatible with a spool gun for working with aluminum.

👍 Pros:
  • Comes with casters and wheels for effortless moving
  • Long torch and power cord for heavy-duty constructions
  • Integrated cable wrap for convenient storage
  • Spool gun compatibility
👎 Cons:
  • Can’t perform TIG welding

What To Consider While Buying MIG Welder For ½ Steel?

When I was searching for suitable MIG welders, I considered the following parameters. Check them out and you don’t have to worry about the strength of the weld on thick metals.

Output Power

I have already mentioned in the introduction that any welder providing less than 250 Amps on its output is not capable of welding ½” steel. That is what you should keep in your mind while selecting a machine that is not on my ½ inch steel MIG welding machine reviews. More is better but don’t settle for less amperage.

Duty Cycle

The duty cycle’s importance relies on the nature of your task. For home uses, DIY projects, and small repairing jobs, 20% to 40% at 250 Amps is enough. It means that you can weld for 2 to 4 minutes without making the welder’s components too hot.

However, the time should be much higher when it comes to industrial works. Keeping such cases in mind, I have included an expensive model from Hobert which is Ironman 250A. By ensuring CO2 gas for MIG welding, you continuously weld without any break for a long time as it promises a 100% duty cycle.


Regardless of size and weight, all of the listed products above are portable. The lightweight inverter-based ones come with a carrying handle. On the other hand, large and heavy industrial machines have built-in casters and wheels.

As a result, no matter which model you choose from my MIG welding machine for 1/2″ steel review, you won’t have to face hard times moving it around the job site. In case you have a specific brand preference and the model is not reviewed here, check this feature before making the final decision.

Ease of Use

Furthermore, check out the control system of the welder and the overall design. It should come with a detailed instruction manual and a straightforward control panel. The best practice is to check some unboxing or setting up videos on YouTube and know how easy the menu and adjustable settings are to figure out.


Budget is an important factor for choosing any product for any task. But the significance is slightly more relevant for finalizing the best MIG welder for ½ steel. It is because good-quality inverter-based products cost over a thousand dollars. On the other hand, high-performance transformer-based models cost almost double and some are even more expensive.

However, there is one inverter welder with a 250Amp capacity from Mophorn. The only downside is that you can’t weld for a long time in this machine. So, set your priorities, match them with the features of a product, and you would be able to invest in the right one.


You have seen that I have put inverter-based welders above the transformer-based ones. There are several reasons for that. I have clarified the debate in my inverter vs transformer welder debate.

While both can achieve almost the same bonding strength in thick metals, I think that a less expensive, more power-efficient, and portable welder should be the best choice.

Don’t you agree with my selection of the best MIG welder for ½ steel? You can let me know in the comments. Nonetheless, for those who have bought Everlast PowerMTS 251Si, you can share your fabrication experience with the welder.