Last Updated on September 2020
You are in the right place if you are looking for the top cheap auto body repair and fabrication welder. Whether you are welding to restore your auto body or want to use this equipment for commercial purposes, you are in good hands with us.
Auto repair and fabrication serves more than one purpose. It’s not just meant to have the vehicle back in shape. It can also be used to enhance safety, customize the car, increase the automobile’s value, repair the engine, and hopefully give the vehicle a new refreshing look.
For this to happen, welding will most likely take a central place. That’s why you need the best welders for auto body work. But this equipment comes at different prices ranging from the pricey, high-end welders to the cheap, but capable, auto welders.
With these differing prices, expect the welders to vary in quality, brand, and the kind of applications for which they are suitable. But most likely, you are on a budget and want cheap but excellent welders for auto body repair and fabrication. If so, never mind, this review and buyers guide is for you.
As you select the best welder for auto repair and fabrication, there are some vital tips that you need to get it right. This review first looks at some of the best cheap welders for this purpose then winds up with the crucial information that you need for this kind of project. For an in-depth review of our favorite auto repair welders, see the following review.
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4 Best Cheap Auto Body Repair and Fabrication Welders
SUNCOO 130 MIG Flux Core Automatic Feed Glasses Portable Welding Machine
You are looking for the best cheap welders for auto repair. The SUNCOO is the most affordable welder in this list and does NOT use gas to weld. This is excellent if you are one of those welders who prefer working without being limited to specific positions.
This welder uses convenient flux technology to prevent metal oxidation
of the welded part of your automobile.
In case you are new to welding, this welder offers multiple protections, namely overheat protection, insulation protection, overload protection, and overcurrent protection.
If you travel a lot and want to carry your auto welder or auto repair welding projects with you, this equipment is right for you. The machine is compact and portable, plus it has some inbuilt storage space where you can store some of your smaller items for easier retrieval and convenient transportation.
- This is one of the least expensive kits in the market, so if you are on a budget, this welder can be an excellent choice for you.
- The unit is well-built and durable. The exterior casing is made using long-lasting, heavy-duty stainless steel material.
- The welder is lightweight, convenient, and portable. The handle at the top of the casing makes it easy to carry around.
- Its variable speed controller gives you full control over the piece you are working on, thus delivering cleaner and more precise results.
- This welder is faster than many welders you might have used in the past.
- Lack of comprehensive instructions on how to set it up.
LOTOS MIG140 Wire Welder, Wire Feeder, Black/Red
Buying a cheap auto body repair welder doesn’t mean you have to compromise of durability. If you can get a more durable but inexpensive welder for this purpose, the better it might perform for you. Well, this LOTOS welder offers you just that.
This MIG welder machine uses the transformer technology, which experts have proven is reliable and durable. The high-quality aluminum wire feeder gives the welder more stability and offers a better user experience.
The new version of this welder comes with a 2T/4T switch, plus two digital displayers help the user adjust the welding voltage and wire feeder speed with precision.
You can easily connect this welding machine to your existing 110V outlet and set it up in 10 minutes or less. To protect your welder from power-related damage, the LOTOS uses a thermal overload protection system.
- It is an easy-to-use system that has many adjustable features.
- Setting it up takes just a few minutes.
- The thermal overload system allows you to work without worrying too much about your safety.
- The machine comes with a 1-yr limited warranty.
- These MIG welders are pricier units compared to other cheap auto welding machines.
- SUNCOO 130 is quieter than many other brands at this price range.
- Some buyers have faced difficulties setting up this welder. The problem is not so much with the welder but the absence of substantial instructions.
Lincoln Electric K2185-1 MIG Welder
With this leading, cheap auto repair welder, it doesn’t matter whether you prefer working with flux-cored wire or with shielding gas, this welder should be an excellent choice for you. This machine welds steel of up to 1/8 inches in size, making it an ideal choice for auto body work.
These welders for auto body repair are lightweight and compact, so you can easily carry them wherever you like. When using this machine, you don’t have to worry about controlling the wire feed speed. The equipment has an adjustable wire feed speed controller, which takes care of our wire-speed concerns.
- It offers dual usage – you can use either a flux core or a shielding gas.
- It’s quite agile so you can use it easily on diverse kinds of projects.
- The cold contractor safety feature ensures the welding machine remains cold when not used or when you haven’t pressed the trigger.
- It comes with a warranty so you can have a replacement if the initial machine malfunctions.
- Some buyers complain about the absence of the gauge that usually comes with the regulator.
Hobart 500559 Handler MIG Welder
- Welds 24 ga up to 1/4 in mild steel
- Operates off 115V standard household current
- Amperage output: 25–140
Another of the best cheap auto welder for auto body repair, this welder does a fantastic job for its price. It can easily weld 24-gauge up to a ¼ inch in mild steel. But it’s not just mild steel that this welder is god at working on.
The Hobart 500559 Handler MIG welder is quite at ease working on a wide range of metals that go into making your car. Think of metals such as aluminum, magnesium alloys, brass, titanium, and cast iron, and this welder will not disappoint you.
You can depend on the Hobart Handler, with its heavy-duty work clamp and industrial cast aluminum system, to deliver high-quality industrial performance.
Another great feature of this welder is the 5-position voltage control selector. This feature allows you to fine-tune your arc thus delivering a smooth stable arc irrespective of the thickness
When you buy this inexpensive welder, you get a good bargain; you don’t have to spend an extra dime buying another welder for your farm projects, household repairs, or yard art projects.
Just remember that if you opt for this auto welder, you’ll have to add the recommended safety gear to go with it. This safety gear is nothing out of the usual welding helmet, jacket, and gloves.
- With this unit, you can weld as much as ¼ inches of steel.
- Setting it up is a breeze
- The welder is versatile and can work with a broad range of metals.
- With its good duty cycle, you can work on your auto for extended periods without taking a break.
- It’s a lightweight welding machine, so it’s easy to carry and use.
- It has a limited warranty.
- For a cheap auto body repair and fabrication welder, the unit is slightly pricier than other similar units.
- You might find the cooling fan a bit noisy.
Types of Welding Machines for Auto Repair and Fabrication
There are three most commonly used welders for this kind of welding projects:
Stick/Arc Welding Machines
Stick/Arc welders are the least expensive type of welders. These types of welding machines use flux-coated or consumable electrodes to weld. It’s important to note that you have to use an electrode of the same metal you are welding. For example, if you are welding a copper surface, you can use only a copper electrode/ stick.
This type of welding offers you several advantages. For instance, it does not restrict your position as you weld, so they are easy to use.
Also, this type of welding does not need any gas coating so you can work in any kind of weather condition.
On the flip side, this method of welding produces more spatter compared to overhead welding. Secondly, stick/arc welding is most suitable for thicker metals. This means it won’t produce the desired results if the part of the car you are working on has a thin metal.
TIG Welding Machines
If you are new to TIG welding, this process uses a non-flammable/consumable tungsten electrode to deliver current to a welding arc. The weld puddle and tungsten are protected and cooled using an inert shielding gas, usually argon.
The shielding gas plays a vital role; it ensures the metal you are welding does not get contaminated
The process uses an electric torch to create a molten puddle. The welder’s hand feeds the molten pool with a filler rod, then the molten puddle cools and forms the weld.
TIG welding has numerous benefits when used for auto repair and fabrication. For instance, this welder uses a non-consumable electrode. This means you can work on your auto flawlessly for extended amounts of time since you won’t have to stop to change the electrode.
This type of welding requires no flux. The inert gas does a great job shielding the molten material from any contamination. Most importantly, a TIG welder results in high-quality welds in some jobs. Finally, you’ll most likely love this method for its ease of usage.
A significant problem with this method is that it’s a bit slower compare to other welding methods.
MIG Welding Machines
Metal Inert Gas (MIG) is the leading choice for many welders engaged in auto repair. And there are good reasons for that. In this process, you feed a continuous solid wire electrode through a MIG welding gun into the weld pool, which in turn joins the two base materials you want to join together.
The inert gas protects the molten weld pool from exposure to atmospheric nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen, which would otherwise create numerous problems, including excessive spatter and porosity.
MIG welding offers a lot of flexibility in terms of the types of metal you can weld using this process. Such metals include stainless steel and aluminum. MIG welding allows you to weld thin metals of up to ¼ inches.
This gas welding method also allows you to weld from different positions. It’s no wonder that this approach to welding is very popular with beginners in the welding industry.
Which Welder Should You Choose?
The choice of the best welder for auto body repair and fabrications at a reasonable price will depend on what you have in mind. For our opinions the best welders for auto body repair, consider the following:
Smaller auto welding projects: Lincoln Electric K2185-1 MIG Welder
Industrial Quality Welding: Hobart 500559 Handler MIG Welder
Durable Welder: LOTOS MIG140 Wire Welder, Wire Feeder, Black/Red
Buying Tips for Best Welder for Auto Body Repair and Fabrication
To be sure that you buy the right equipment, consider the following factors to make your selection:
Amperage determines the amount of power that the welder can deliver. Of course, this, in turn, will depend on, among other things, the thickness of the metals you are going to work on. For thinner metals of up to 3/16, you’ll need a welder with at least 100amps to 130 amps for best results.
For thicker metals or steel materials, you need a machine with high amperage measuring even as high as 180amps for excellent results.
Like every other product, the more you spend on a welding machine, the more features will get. Additional features will go a long way in making your work more comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable. But if you opt for the inexpensive welders, don’t expect to get many of these additional features.
Best Places to Purchase Auto Body Repair and Fabrication Welder
There are several places to buy welding equipment. For worry-free return policies, transparency in product quality and customer service, and fast shipping, head over to Amazon.
When you browse on Amazon, you can see what previous buyers thought of the product they bought and everything about machine quality, protective features, and warranty info. You don’t need to go out to compare features or find the best product for your needs.
If you have a problem with your new auto body welder, you can also quickly and easily return the product.
Having gone through the review of the best welders for auto body repair and fabrication, you now must take the next step and select the one that fits your needs. Make your auto restoration easy, efficient, and worthwhile with any of the best welders for auto body repairs, as highlighted in this buyer’s guide.