Multi-Process Welders: 5 Best For The Money

What is a multi-process welder, and why do people spend days debating over the best multi-process welder? This designation is reserved for a welder that’s a Jack of all trades. The best multi-function welders can usually handle two or three welding styles with great efficiency.

Because there are multiple possible combinations of styles, it stands to reason that narrowing down your perfect fit won’t be easy. Here’s hoping that our top five picks will make things easier for you and that the tips in this article will guide you toward making an informed decision.

Top 5 Multi-Process Welders Reviewed

Lotos LTPC2000D

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17”x8”x12.5”
  • Weight: 42.3 lbs.
  • Welding Processes: Plasma, Stick, TIG
  • Dual Voltage: Yes
  • Output Power: 50 – 200 Amps
Lotos LTPDC2000D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter Tig Welder

There’s not a lot that the Lotos LTPC2000D can’t do for you. This is a 3-in-1 multi process or combo welder. It has a plasma cutter function and TIG and stick welding. It’s a very reliable welder to have around the house and to use if you often work on steel, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum.

The build quality is undeniable, as is its resistance to overheating. The arc plasma cutter can operate at 50 Amps, whereas for TIG and stick, the LTPC2000D can put out up to 200 Amps of current temporarily. The minimum output is 10 Amps on the plasma cutter and 15 Amps for both TIG and stick functions.

This is a highly versatile unit that’s capable of handling light-duty tasks as well as heavy-duty workloads, and at high voltage settings no less. The LTPC2000D also features a DC inverter that allows for voltage operation at 110 volts/220 volts and 50 or 60Hz frequency.

Although it has the making of one of the great consumer multi-process welders, this machine is also capable of some light-duty industrial tasks, thanks to its double voltage function and powerful non-touch pilot arc welding function.

Pros

  • Intuitive control panel
  • 3-in-1 welder
  • Rugged build
  • Universal voltage and frequency
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Plasma cutter cuts up to 3/8” (though it’s nothing to sneeze at)

Lincoln Electric K3963-1 Powermig 210

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14”x10.75”x19”
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Welding Processes: MIG/Flux-Core, Stick, TIG
  • Dual Voltage: Yes
  • Output Power: 20 – 220 Amps
Lincoln Electric Powermig 210 Mp #K3963-1

The Lincoln Electric K3963-1 Powermig 210 is a compact yet powerful multiprocess welder. Its rugged chassis houses three welding technologies: TIG, MIG, and stick. Its voltage runs on 110 volts or 230 volts.

Although the machine can be used for a wide range of welding applications, it’s not a difficult machine to use. The control panel is intuitive, and the color display makes it easy to understand what you’re doing at any given time. The push-and-turn digital controls are also a breeze to use, especially for quick adjustments on the fly.

Because while these are compact multi-process welders, they are also on the lighter side, weighing in at just 40 lbs. You can use the K3963-1 for both strong and smooth welds. Because of this, it’s a good fit for quick repair work and also more intricate precision projects. However, it may not be good enough for heavy-duty workloads and thick materials despite the price tag.

In terms of power, the K3963-1 can handle up to 3/8” thick stainless steel and up to 3/16” aluminum. You can also do electrode welds at up to 5/32”. Although it looks like the K3863-1 is a complete package, it doesn’t come with a spool gun. Other than that, everything you need to get started on your projects will be included in the package.

Pros

  • Can handle aluminum welding
  • Rugged housing
  • Intuitive digital controls and display

Cons

  • On the expensive side

Forney 324

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 19”x9.5” x16.5”
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
  • Welding Processes: MIG, Stick, TIG
  • Dual Voltage: Yes
  • Output Power: up to 190 Amps
Forney 324 MIG/Stick/TIG 3-in-one 190-Amp Welder, 120/230-Volt

Capable of welding in three different styles (TIG, MIG, stick), the Forney 324 combo welder is a strong contender for the best multiprocess welder there is. The ruggedness of the build allows it to be used efficiently for home repair work as well as some light-duty industrial tasks. It can do a surprisingly good job in the fabrication or touch-up of boats and automobiles.

It’s voltage capabilities allow you to switch between heavy-duty and precision welding. Switching between styles is also easy, and both TIG and MIG welder guns are included in the price of the Forney 324.

The Forney is more than an entry-level welder. With a maximum output of 190 Amps, it should make short work of almost anything you throw at it. What’s even better is that you can use a very low current setting too, whenever you find yourself working on thin metal.

The Forney 324 also has variable speed control. However, it’s not as impressive as what you may find on other models. It feels somewhat limited in this regard.

In terms of accessories, you’re pretty much set for anything out of the box. The welder comes with a torch, ground cable and clamp, 15’ power cable, electrode holder, and gas hose and regulator. It does lack a foot pedal and a spool gun.

When it comes to performance, you can use the Forney 324 to MIG weld at 140 Amps and get through 3/16” steel in a single pass. You can also weld 3/8” steel in a multi-pass without worrying about overheating. To stick weld, the 324 can handle electrodes of up to 5/32”, which is the golden standard for multi–process welders.

Pros

  • High output
  • Durable build
  • Thermal overload indicator
  • 10-speed selector

Cons

  • TIG pedal and torch not included

Everlast PowerMTS 251Si

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 25”x19”x16”
  • Weight: 80 lbs.
  • Welding Processes: MIG, Stick, TIG
  • Dual Voltage: Yes
  • Output Power: 250 Amps
Everlast PowerMTS 251Si Pulse MIG TIG Stick

The Everlast PowerMTS 251Si houses a digital IGBT inverter and three popular welding styles: TIG, MIG, and Stick welding. The welder is big in every regard. It has a large footprint, it’s heavy, and it can set you back quite a few bucks.

At the same time, you can handle pretty much anything that can be reasonably expected around the house and more with the 251Si. Its setup is easy and fast. The versatility of the three styles is worth every penny, and the quiet operation is a nice bonus considering the size and power of the machine.

The 120/240v voltage power supply should allow you to use the 251Si welder almost anywhere. The output power for the MIG, TIG, and stick welding processes are as follows: MIG at 250A, TIG at 250 Amps, and stick at 200 Amps. Those are peak performance numbers.

You can also expect a duty cycle of roughly 35% at peak performance, which says a lot about the engineering of the 251Si and its workhorse qualities. On top of that, if you’re an experienced welder, you might also appreciate the option to go full manual mode for feeding the wire and setting the intensity.

Pros

  • Very powerful output
  • 35% duty cycle at peak performance
  • Durable build
  • Manual control of wire feed possible
  • IGBT inverter technology

Cons

  • Pricier than most competitor models of the same level

Amico Power TIG-200DC

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 16.6”x11.8”x7.5”
  • Weight: 25 lbs.
  • Welding Processes: TIG, Stick, Arc
  • Dual Voltage: Yes
  • Output Power: 200 Amps
200 Amp TIG Torch/Arc/Stick DC Inverter Welder Dual Voltage IGBT Welding

The Amico Power TIG-200DC is another highly capable IGBT multi-process welder. But, this particular 3 in 1 welder has the edge over the competition in terms of pricing. For a powerful combo welder, it’s surprisingly budget-friendly.

It can handle stick, TIG, and MIG welding, and most importantly, it also features a high-frequency TIG start. For a Chinese brand, Amico Power delivered with the TIG-200DC on almost every front. The unit is portable, as it’s lightweight and compact. However, the housing is not as rugged as some might wish, and it does seem to overheat easier than others.

When it comes to the duty cycle and its ability to perform continuously, the TIG-200DC boasts impressive numbers. It has a 60% duty cycle at 200 Amps. Realistically, the number is probably a bit optimistic. But, you can still expect it to be above the market average.

The welder is probably ideal for housework and automobile repair projects and not so much for use on construction sites or in industrial projects. Along with the welder, you’ll also get an electrode holder, work clamp, four pieces of electrodes (1/8” and 3/32”), and a couple of 5/64” tungsten bits.

If you’re interested in taking the budget-friendly route, the Amico Power TIG-200DC is an excellent all-around welding machine that can make short work of thin steel and light-duty projects.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • High duty cycle
  • Affordable
  • Intuitive control panel

Cons

  • Average build quality

Weight and Portability

It stands to reason that if you’re looking for the best multi-process welder, you’re planning to take on a wide range of welding projects. This often means that portability is a consideration.

Although few multi-process welders are truly lightweight, it’s essential to find one that’s on the lighter side if you’re going to move it around the workshop often.

Check Out Our 10 Highest Rated Welders for Beginners

Best Multi-Process Welder

Technologies and Welding Processes

Multi-process or combo welders are usually capable of handling at least two or three different welding styles. Some may even add in a fourth, but you should manage your expectations if you don’t want to spend a fortune.

Remember that most people turn to multi-process welders to save the money required for buying more than one welder.

Multi-process welders can feature a wide range of welding style combinations. However, the most common combo you’ll find is MIG, stick, and TIG. It’s very easy to incorporate MIG and stick onto a TIG platform and blend all those technologies.

Other welders may add in a plasma cutter function, albeit at a low to medium output. But, in most cases, you should still be able to use the plasma cutter on a multi-process welder to go through rust, aluminum, and thin- to medium-thickness metal.

Duty Cycle

Some manufacturers will list duty cycles, but you should always take them with a grain of salt. Because you’re dealing with more than one welding style, the duty cycle may not be consistent across the board.

On top of that, there are even more output ranges to account for in multi-process welders.

Overload Protection

Overload protection is a must-have feature in any welder. When it comes to combo welders, the overload protection is even more important as switching between different welding styles can take its toll on the machine a lot faster.

Dual Voltage

A dual voltage power supply can be a game–changer. Consider the degree of freedom you can gain by not being dependent on a specific type of outlet.

On top of that, you’ll need 220 volts to get higher output. This essentially means that you should be able to cut through thicker materials in a single pass, at least if the circuit allows you to draw enough current from it.

Pricing

Multi-process welders are rarely cheap. There are some budget-friendly models on the market, but they’ll often make plenty of compromises in hitting the lower price tag.

However, more expensive multi-process welders are worth it at the end of the day. If you need to use more welding styles in your projects, then buying a combo welder makes more sense than buying three different types of welders.

At least as long as you don’t need them for industrial-type tasks. For those, you’ll probably need multiple dedicated welders for performance and longevity. But, for the average consumer, a combo welder is the way to go if you want the versatility without committing to buying multiple welders of different types.

While you could certainly find mp welders in a local industrial store, there are also numerous places where you could order one of these machines online – eBay, industrial sites, etc. Additionally, there are always people who post their offers on tech sites, which might or might not be related to whatever you are looking for. However, these machines aren’t toys, food, or something you should take too lightly – buying one will always be a costly investment, not to mention the risk of purchasing faulty equipment.

The safest place where you can order this tool–online or in-store–is Amazon. Apart from being the most popular and reliable online service, this online market has a strict set of rules that apply to users on both ends: vendors and buyers. They also provide free shipping to their customers in some areas.

Amazon Logo

One of the best things about Amazon is that you, as a customer, are entitled to use their return/refund policy. People ship their items overseas all the time. Even if your vendor is in the near vicinity, an accident can occur at any time. Your package might be delivered to you in a damaged condition – that’s where return policies come into play.

The best multi-process welder is arguably the one that can handle all your projects. If you’re looking for a welder with dual voltage and at least three welding technologies, then you’re already on the right track.

As you can see from the top five picks presented in this article, the decision may often come down to the number of accessories or the raw power output across specific welding styles.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Welding Insider