Lincoln Electric Handy MIG Welder Review

Lincoln Electric makes some of the best welding equipment in the industry so it’s reassuring to know that even among their low-level product – like the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG – they still deliver the same high-quality.

Featuring a maximum output of 88 amps and a 20% at 70A duty cycle the Handy MIG is a small but capable little welder. Included in the kit is everything you need to start welding today including a mask, flux-cored wire and a brush/hammer combo. It’s a solid kit if you’ve never welded before or even if you are just looking for a small but reliable rig for around the house.

It may not be the most powerful machine in the world but if you’re in the market for a quality MIG welder from a trusted brand then consider the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG.

4.5/5

Pros

  • Welds up to 1/8″ mild steel
  • Both MIG and FCAW capable
  • Uses standard 115V power
  • Portable/Lightweight
  • Simple controls
  • Great for beginners
  • Cold contact safety feature
  • Comes with extras

Cons

  • Lacks infinite power control
  • The ‘mask’ it comes with is worthless
  • Work clamp could be longer
  • Low power

What’s Good?

Welds up to 1/8″ mild steel

The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is the ideal welder for small at-home repairs or anything that’s considered ‘light-duty’. It may not be a big machine but it’s capable of producing high-quality welds on mild steel up to 1/8-inch thick. This welder excels at auto-body or similar thin gauge metalwork.

It outputs a respectable maximum power of 88 amps with a steady duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps. The Handy MIG certainly isn’t designed for heavy duty work but the welds it produces on thin metal are a cut above the rest.

lincoln electric handy mig

Both MIG and FCAW capable

With a spool of flux-cored wire already included, everything you need to start welding immediately is available with this setup. Although MIG welding requires additional gas, you can start flux-cored welding today with what’s included in this kit.

MIG – Requires additional gas – argon, helium, carbon dioxide, oxygen – as a shielding agent to protect the weld from outside contaminants. This type of welding is not recommended for outside use and carrying around shielding gas can limit your portability.

FCAW – Flux-cored requires no additional gas because the gas is embedded in the wire itself. When burned off, flux forms a shield around the weld to protect it from the atmosphere. This type of welding is ideal for outdoor and out of position welding or when portability is needed.

Uses standard 115V power

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to the Handy MIG and its power source is no different. Using the North American standard 115-volt, 20-amp outlet to draw its power, the Lincoln Electric handy MIG can be used just about where there’s electricity. Although you likely wont be going anywhere crazy with this little guy it’s nice to know that you can take it anywhere around the house and not have to worry about power concerns.

The Handy MIG has a knob to adjust the four voltage settings to allow you to optimize your power input to the task at hand.

Portable/Lightweight

Measuring 12.75 x 8.75 x 18 inches and weighing less than 50 lbs the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is as portable as they get. Complete with an ideally located, heavy-duty handle this machine is meant to be picked up and carried around the shop as the job calls for.

Although an optional cart is available this rig is light and portable enough to easily move so you can save for money for more important things. Or beer.

lincoln electric handy mig

Simple controls

The last thing you want in a welder is a panel of complex controls that you need an inch thick manual just to turn on. Luckily the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is incredibly easy to operate. There are four basic controls to keep in mind:

Power Switch – I’ll leave you to figure out this one.

Low/High Heat Control – A rocker switch control that lets you adjust the output voltage from low to high

Fine Heat Control – Allows for fine tuning the control between the low and high output range.

Wire Speed Control – Controls the rate of speed of the wire feeder.

lincoln electric handy mig controls

Great for beginners

Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is a great little welder if you’re just starting out for several reasons:

Inexpensive – For a couple hundred dollars you can get a complete brand name MIG/FCAW welding setup and start welding today.

Forgiving – This type of welder was made with the beginner in mind. You can lay down nice looking, quality beads with little effort.

Easy to use – With only four buttons and dials to adjust (and one of them being the power button) it’s an incredibly easy welder to use even if you’ve never welded before.

Small – Small in both size and power the Handy MIG is a great little welder for practicing your welds.

Comes with extras

The Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is a complete welding starter kit. In addition to the welder you’ll get everything you need to start welding immediately including:

  • 1 lbs spool flux-cored wire
  • 1 lbs spool solid MIG wire
  • Welding mask
  • Brush
  • Hammer

While I don’t recommend using the mask/shield everything else it comes with is top notch. Click here for a wide selection of the best welding helmets.

What’s Bad?

Low Power

With a maximum output of 88 amps and a duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps, the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG is a baby when compared to its older brothers.

By now you should know how much power you need so its not really an issue, I’m just pointing out that this rig isn’t meant to compete with the big boys.

Lacks infinite power control

Unlike similarly priced MIG welders that offer infinite voltage control, the Handy MIG provides 4 preset options. However, at such a low level the difference between a few volts is negligible when it comes to arc control.

The ‘mask’ it comes with is worthless

You get a complete kit when you buy the Handy MIG, that also includes a useless handheld mask. Some alternate uses for the mask include:

  • Water bowl
  • Frisbee
  • Door stop
  • Halloween costume

But seriously, don’t use it. Even if you don’t buy a helmet from weldinglist.com, buy a proper helmet.

Work clamp could be longer

Measuring 8-feet in length, as long as you are positioned properly, this shouldn’t be an issue. However, compared to similar welders with 10-foot there is room for improvement.

Warranty

Compared to the Handler 140 and the Millermatic 211s three and five year warranty, Lincolns warranty leaves something to be desired. Although Lincoln Electric does offer a 1 year warranty so it could be worse.

The Verdict – Lincoln Electric Handy MIG

Relentless capability, unmatched performance and trusted reliability make the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG the best welder in its class.

It may be small but it sure performs when it needs to. With the ability to weld both MIG and FCAW, the Handy MIG easily welds up to 1/8″ thick mild steel. Boasting a duty cycle of 20% at 70 amps you’ll be able to tackle any small home repair, although it may take a while longer. Furthermore, with a conveniently placed handle the unit can be moved to and from each job with ease.

Whether you’re a beginner or just need a little rig for around the house, look no further than the Lincoln Electric Handy MIG. It’s the complete package.

Specs and Features

Weight: 49 lbs

Size: L18″ x W9″ x H13″

Power Input: 115V

Power Output: 88A

Duty Cycle: 20% @ 70A

Material Thickness: Up to 1/8″ mild steel

Warranty: 1 year

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