If you want to switch between welding techniques but don’t want to swap welders, you need to get your hands on the best multi-process welder. You probably know that different types of welding methods suit materials and applications better than others.
We look at the best multi-process welders to give you the lowdown on which is the best.
- Quality materials
- Easy set-up
- Includes aluminum extension
- Top quality construction
- High-frequency starts
- Multi-voltage plug
- Lightweight & portable
- Gasless flux-core
- Value for money
- 30 percent duty cycle
- Weighs 30 pounds
- Relatively inexpensive
- Plasma capabilities
- 0.50-inch cutting depth
- Great for aluminum
- 200 amp square wave inverter
- High-frequency start
- Ultimate home welder
- 5-year warranty
- Easy to use controls
What Is a Multi-Process Welder?
It is a welder that has multiple applications. It can function as a TIG, MIG and stick welder, giving you the freedom to switch if you so choose. Not every welder will cater to all 3 methods. Some can TIG and stick weld, while others are better at MIG and stick welding. Some even plasma cut.
Are Multi-Process Welders Any Good?
It depends on what you want out of the welder. Most multi-process welders lean towards one particular style. While a welder might advertise it can perform all 3 methods, it might be better at TIG or MIG welding, as an example.
The watchword, when buying a multi-process welder, is quality. Getting the best welder for your dollars is crucial if you want a machine that will last for years and years, delivering the best consistent performance.
You could also levy the accusation that they are “Jack of all trades” machines, but they are cost-effective because they keep your expenditure low by allowing you to be flexible without adding to your costs.
They also speed up your work rate because you only need to configure one machine rather than drag another from the truck when you switch welding styles.
On a professional level, you are more likely to purchase a welder that caters to a specific style, but that’s because the standards are so much higher in the commercial and industrial sectors.
- Saves time on set-up.
- You can swap techniques at will.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Comes with all the equipment.
- Cheaper set-up costs.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket.
- Doesn’t specialize in any method.
- Varying degrees of quality.
- Too many cheap models that break.
How To Choose the Best Multi-Process Welder
Here are some things you need to consider when shopping for your new welder.
What Is the Primary Purpose?
As we’ve already said, multi-process welders may cater to all welding types, but they almost always perform one style better than the others. It doesn’t make sense to buy a welder for MIG work when the advertisement says it is better for TIG.
Make sure you are choosing the right machine for the correct tasks. Multi-process or not, it is likely that you will weld in one particular style for the majority of the time, and you want the welder that best compliments your favored method.
Also, some welding styles only work when you have enough power to back them up. TIG isn’t a fan of 110-volt machines, instead it typically requires a higher voltage to perform key tasks.
A lot of this comes down to the budget. The more you pay, the better quality you get. That’s the theory, at least. Look for the manufacturer’s warranty as a sign of the confidence they have in their product. Expensive models tend to have longer warranties, but the flip side is you pay more.
Cheaper welders have smaller warranties, and this is because the components used in the manufacturing process are often less expensive and prone to failing sooner.
What Are You Welding?
The material you are welding requires different settings. Softer metals like mild steel are easy to weld because they require lower penetration and lower amperage and voltage. It lends itself to 110-volt welders.
Hard materials like stainless steel or cast iron may require a welder with the punch to penetrate deep enough to get the strongest bond between the two metals. In this instance, getting the most powerful machine with 220 volts and a maximum of 200 amps is required to have any impact.
If you are welding lighter or thinner materials, the amperage is less important, and a welder with a range up to 140 amps will suffice.
The current is also a factor. If you want to TIG weld aluminum, get a machine with AC and DC capabilities. DC alone won’t work with aluminum.
What Do You Want To Spend?
You can spend a little and get a budget machine that looks good on the surface. It will even perform well, though not as well as some premium brands. If you peel away the welder’s outer layer, you will discover cheaper quality components that will fail on you a lot faster than high-end models.
You always get what you pay for, and going cheap with a multi-process welder is not the best option unless you are operating with a limited budget. If you want to spend less, you might have less freedom of choice because you always have one eye on the price-tag.
The Best Multi-Process Welders of 2022
In our search for the best multi-process welders, we have managed to boil the list down to 7 to make your choices easier.
1. Lincoln Electric Power 210 MP Multi-Process Welder
Best Compact Multi-Process Welder
This is a quality welder, with easy to follow controls. It is made from the highest quality materials, and it is so simple to set up, it’s child’s play. This is thanks to Lincoln’s intuitive push and pull digital controls. You don’t even need the manual. It weighs just 40 pounds with a tiny footprint, making it the best compact welder.
It has a 25 percent duty cycle at 200 amps, a maximum wire feed rate of 500 inches per minute, and even comes with a Magnum Pro welding spool gun for MIG welding aluminum. This welder has a 3-year warranty, but given the quality and the all-metal casing, this product will outlive that warranty by many years.
It is a premium welder, designed to last for years. The quality of the components and the all-metal casing makes this a hard-wearing welding machine that will last the distance.
If you are new to welding, setting up some machines can feel like the space shuttle’s launch procedure, so it’s reassuring to know that setting this welder is simple. It has intuitive, push and pull controls and a digital display for guidance.
Includes Aluminum Extension
This welder comes with an aluminum spool gun to get the best results from welding aluminum.
No AC Setting
If you want to TIG weld aluminum with this welder, you will struggle as it has no AC setting. For the price-tag, you would have expected it to have more versatility.
Professional’s Price Tag
And what about that price? It is certainly not aimed at the beginner end of the market. Professionals and dedicated welding enthusiasts will most likely make up the bulk of the interest in this machine.
|Dimensions (inches)||29.02 x 10.51 x 5.98|
|Multi-process||MIG, flux-cored, TIG, stick|
|Duty cycle||25 percent|
|Warranty||3-year machine + 1-year gun|
2. Miller Multimatic 215 Multi-Process Welder
Best Professional Grade Multi-Process Welder
No self-respecting review of professional-grade welders would be complete without the Millermatic. The only thing that stopped this machine from scoring higher is the prohibitive cost. It is even more expensive than the Lincoln Electric model, and it doesn’t come with an aluminum spool gun.
It does have a multi-voltage plug, adapting the power supply from 110 to 240 volts. It also has a color LCD with automatic settings. The instructions are easy to follow, and the high-frequency starts make striking an arc a lot easier. It also has an AC setting for TIG welding aluminum.
Top Quality Construction
You’d have to go a long way to find a welder that didn’t rate the qualities of this product. Miller is synonymous with quality and workmanship, and this welder is no different. It is a firm favorite with professionals and experienced operators alike.
High frequency starts means it is easier to strike an arc and to maintain a stable arc. All it requires is gentle contact with the base metal for a few seconds, and the arc is formed.
The multi-voltage plug means that you can plug this into the domestic power supply without worrying about overloading the electrical system. It makes a heavy-duty welder suitable for use indoors.
You will do a double-take when you see the price of this welder. Even when you compare it to the Lincoln model, it looks like poor value for money.
No Aluminum Spool Gun
For the price, you’d think this would come with an aluminum spool gun for when you need the added flexibility, but it doesn’t. That is an extra cost you have to consider.
|Dimensions (inches)||21 x 13 x 11|
|Multi-process||MIG, flux-cored, TIG, stick|
|Duty cycle||15 percent|
3. Forney Easy Weld 140 MP Multi-Process Welder
Best Budget Multi-Process Welder
When you name your product “Easy Weld,” you can be sure it is an ideal machine to learn the craft. This is a MIG welder, so it is the easiest method to learn. It has a maximum output of 140 amps and a 120-volt input.
It can TIG, MIG and stick weld, as well as perform as a gasless, flux-cored welder, so again, if you are learning the ropes, you don’t have to pay out for expensive gas canisters. It also makes it an easier process to learn. This welder has infinite voltage and wire speed control to regulate the welding rate.
This welder is ultra-lightweight, compact, and easy to store away, making it the ideal choice for hobbyists and DIY enthusiast welders working from the garage or home workshop.
Lightweight and Portable
These compact welders are for the home market, so being lightweight and compact is a major bonus. They are easy to set up and pack away, taking up a minimum amount of space.
Because there is no gas, it means you can start welding straight from the box. Sure, at some point, you are going to need to learn about gas protection, but for now, enjoy the process in its simplified state to get you used to how a welder handles.
This welder is a third of the price of the Weldpro. When you are a beginner, the budget is always a factor because you don’t need to spend piles of cash to get onto the welding ladder. Some budget machines will get you started for a fraction of the price.
No AC Setting
The AC setting enables you to TIG weld aluminum. Without this, you will need a separate aluminum spool gun to perform that task.
Slow Feed Rate
Some users have complained that the wire feed rate is on the slow side. It isn’t such an issue when you are a beginner, but as you learn, you increase your speed, and then it can slow you down, which can become a problem.
Build Quality Issues
As with all products built on a budget, this Easy Weld is no different. To save costs, Forney has used lesser grade materials, relying on plastic instead of metal. It isn’t a massive issue if you accept that you get what you pay for. It’s the difference between a welder for now or a welder for life.
|Dimensions (inches)||14.2 x 19.3 x 11.6|
|Multi-process||MIG, TIG, stick|
|Duty cycle||Not stated|
4. Weldpro 200 Amp Inverter Multi-Process Welder
Best Dual Voltage Multi-Process Welder
This is Weldpro’s flagship welder, performing MIG, TIG and stick welding with ease. It has a 30 percent duty cycle rating of 200 amps. It has dual voltage capabilities and an IGBT inverter for lightweight yet responsive control.
It comes with all the kit you need to get started, including a WP-17 13 ft MIG torch and a TIG torch, as well as the gas connectors and regulators. It is lightweight, at just over 30 pounds, and portable.
The only thing this welder lacks is an AC setting for TIG welding aluminum. You can purchase an aluminum spool gun separately. Despite that, there isn’t much this welder can’t do.
30 Percent Duty Cycle
A 30 percent duty cycle is actually a good performance considering some welders only operate on 15 percent. It means that you can weld for 3 minutes and then allow the torch to cool for the next 7 minutes.
Weighs 30 Pounds
This unit weighs just over 30 pounds, making it lightweight and compact, which is ideal for storing it away in the garage or workshop.
Compared to some multi-process welders, this model is priced to occupy the center ground. It should appeal to experienced welders as well as hardcore hobbyists who take their craft seriously.
No AC Setting
Most aluminum welding is performed in DC, this is true, but if you want to TIG weld, you need an AC setting. You can buy a dedicated aluminum spool gun, but that costs extra.
It was a tough call because some see inverters as a plus, not a minus. All we know is that inverters are prone to malfunctioning, and they make the welder less robust.
|Dimensions (inches)||17.72 x 8.66 x 14.96|
|Multi-process||MIG, TIG, stick|
|Duty cycle||30 percent|
5. Lotos Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Best Multi-Process Welder With Plasma Cutter
This is the first of two outings for Lotos in the review. This first to feature is a 3-in-1 welding machine with plasma cutting capabilities. It TIG welds and sick welds, but it doesn’t MIG weld.
The plasma cutter torch cuts through painted, rusted, and uneven surfaces, producing minimal slag in the process. It uses non-hazardous compressed air to easily slice through stainless steel, alloy steel, mild steel, copper and aluminum.
It is a dual voltage machine with a hot strike arc feature that creates an easier arc, making it more stable.
Using a plasma cutter to slice through metal makes life easier. It also means that you can switch the cutter into a welding machine and get straight to work when you need to join the two pieces.
Compared to some models, this welder with plasma capabilities is relatively affordable. You could spend double this and still only get a welding machine without the plasma feature.
0.50-Inch Cutting Depth
This plasma cutter is capable of cutting through steel up to half an inch thick. It makes light work of aluminum and other metals too.
No MIG Capability
While it is a multi-purpose welder, it can only TIG and stick weld. There is no MIG feature, so it isn’t going to appeal to novices who want to learn the easiest form of welding. You will need some experience of TIG and stick welding to get the most out of this machine.
|Dimensions (inches)||17 x 8 x 12.5|
|Multi-process||TIG, stick, plasma|
|Duty cycle||40 percent|
6. Lotos AC/DC Aluminum TIG Welder
Best Multi-Process Welder for Aluminum
If you are looking for a welder to weld aluminum, this could be your best choice. It has a 200 amp square wave inverter, specifically designed for aluminum. This welder also works well with stainless steel, as well as thinner gauge material.
It has a high-frequency start function that creates an arc easier, making it more stable, and a durable foot pedal that gives you complete control. It has both AC and DC settings and a DC stick setting, as well as MIG functions.
It comes with all the kit to get you started, including gas regulators and a ground clamp.
Great for Aluminum
Unlike some more expensive welders, this model comes with both AC and DC capabilities. It means that you can get to welding aluminum straight out of the box without paying out for a specialty spool gun.
The price point is sensible because it will appeal to professionals and experienced welders. Sometimes you have to question why some welders are so expensive or unbelievably cheap. You don’t ask that question with this welder.
High-frequency start is a feature typically found on professional models. Simply position the torch, make gentle contact with the base metal, press the trigger and the arc will form. There is no messing about trying to strike and restrike.
Build Quality Issues
Many have complained that this welder didn’t work straight out of the box, or stopped working soon after. For an item that costs this much, it seems that quality control is somewhat lacking.
Square wave inverters convert DC into AC, making it possible to lift TIG weld with this welder. Unfortunately, square wave inverters are notoriously easy to malfunction, with overheating being a particular problem.
|Dimensions (inches)||28 x 13 x 17|
|Multi-process||MIG, TIG, stick|
|Duty cycle||60 percent|
7. Forney 324 190-Amp Multi-Process Welder
Best Beginner Multi-Process Welder
This is the second Forney product to feature in the review. It is capable of stick, MIG and TIG welding, yet it does that all in the compact package of 230 or 120 volts. It means this is the ultimate multi-process beginner welder.
It comes with the stick and MIG set-up included, but if you want to TIG weld or weld aluminum, the extra torch and spool gun will cost you extra. However, the flowmeter and the gas hose are included.
The most impressive thing about this welder is the 5-year warranty, ensuring peace of mind for the owner and confirming that the manufacturer is supremely confident in its quality.
Ultimate Home Welder
It packs a punch for such a small package. It is unusual to find a TIG welder with such a low voltage. 120 volts is squarely the preserve of lesser welder units suited to light and medium-gauge metals, so to get one that TIG welds are impressive.
What can we say, other than wow! 5-years is impressive and beats the competition by a country mile. Even some of the high-end models struggle to give you more than a couple of years on the warranty.
Easy To Use Controls
3 dials and a digital display are all you need. One dial deals with voltage, the other selects the welding process, and the third controls the amperage. What could be simpler? It is also a great welder for novices.
TIG Torch Sold Separately
If you want to TIG weld using this welder, you will have to spend more money purchasing a TIG torch separately. The same is true for welding aluminum. The spool gun is sold as an extra.
|Dimensions (inches)||19 x 9.5 x 16.5|
|Multi-process||MIG, TIG, stick (TIG sold separately)|
|Duty cycle||20 percent|
|Product||Best||Weight||Dimensions||Multi-process||Voltage||Max amps||Duty cycle||Warranty|
|Lincoln Electric Power Welder||Compact||40 lbs||29.02 x 10.51 x 5.98″||MIG, flux-cored, TIG, stick||120/230||210||25%||3-year|
|Miller Multimatic Multi-Process Welder||Professional||56 lbs||21 x 13 x 11″||MIG, flux-cored, TIG, stick||120/240||230||15%||3-year|
|Forney Easy Weld Multi-Process Welder||Budget Pick||25.8 lbs||14.2 x 19.3 x 11.6″||MIG, TIG, stick||120||140||N/A||1-year|
|Weldpro Inverter Multi-Process Welder||Dual Voltage||30 lbs||17.72 x 8.66 x 14.96″||MIG, TIG, stick||230||200||30%||2-year|
|Lotos Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter||Plasma Cutter||42.35 lbs||17 x 8 x 12.5″||TIG, stick, plasma||220||200||40%||1-year|
|Lotos AC/DC Aluminum TIG Welder||Aluminum||58 lbs||28 x 13 x 17″||MIG, TIG, stick||220||200||60%||1-year|
|Forney 324 Multi-Process Welder||Beginner||52 lbs||19″ x 9.5″ x 16.5″||MIG, TIG, stick||120/230||190||20%||5-year|
Multi-Process Welder FAQs
What Is the Hardest Metal To Weld?
Surprisingly, the hardest metal to weld is aluminum. It is an alloy, and so has chemical properties that need to be understood before you start welding.
Which Type of Weld Is the Strongest?
TIG welding is more precise and accurate, and has a higher penetration level, making it the strongest type of weld. That said, different materials require different welding techniques, with some bonding better as a result.
Can I Plug a Welder Into a Regular Outlet?
You can if the voltage is 110 or even 120 volts. Anything higher and you would need an electrician to install a socket that can handle an increased amperage from a 220-volt welder. These welders are geared towards commercial and industrial use, and so have a higher voltage and amperage.
What a Wonderful Weld It Could Be
With a multi-process welder, you are getting the best of all worlds. You can TIG, MIG and stick to your heart’s content, and all from the comfort and convenience of one welding machine. What’s not to love about that?
So, the next time you look to upgrade your welder, think about buying a multi-process model and cover all your needs in one.