I have some experience with Arc welders and a little with MIG. However the rods and metal I have welded with are big compared to the 1/8in metal I will be working with. Getting a cheap MIG welder is not cost effective if I have to buy a tank with it. Never done TIG. Looking to upgrade my DIY skills and not break the bank to do a project.

I am looking for a welder to accomplish the following: Not break the bank! Under $200 $100 preferable Finished weld needs to be pretty as the final piece will be on display.

Recommendations for ARC MIG or TIG?

  • For arc on 1/8 would use smaller rod and lower power. To buy any welder just for a few pieces, not cost effective, would get local welder/mechanic to do it for a few bucks. Any 100 dollar welder will only be good for welding tin cans.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 11:20
  • Learning to weld, especially small and thin materials, and "not breaking the bank" are basically incompatible goals. Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 14:10
  • 1
    This is really an opinion question and as that it is off topic, I prefer wire welder with gas but there are flux core wires that don’t need gas not as clean as gas but can make nice welds, TIG needs gas , arc is the same as wire with flux core if you use a small rod so as you can see it’s opinion based. And you left out brazing that may be the best option you need to do some more research as product recommendations are also off topic.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


If you're good with a stick welder, stick with it(no pun intended). Just use a 3/32 rod and set your welder amperage at around 90 Amps. Do a little practicing. As far as "pretty" goes, that will totally depend on your experience but you can definitely get those results with a stick welder.


Big welders can do small welds.

Pretty welds come from experience so get some practice in.

  • 1
    AKA : Pretty welds are the result of experience and skill , not the machine. When examining production welds in the field , a good looking weld is a good indication of a good weld/welder ( so we had good expectations of passing X-ray.). Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 16:28
  • @blacksmith37 I did say that pretty welds came from experience...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Mar 16, 2021 at 18:16
  • I was emphasizing it is not the machine. Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 20:17

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