YesWelder MIG-205DS-B Multi-Process Review [2023 Review]

What We Thought (full review below!)

The YesWelder MIG-205DS-B is a well-rounded, capable welder that met and exceeded all of the demands of various welding tasks I put it through!

I love all the improvements over the previous model, combined with its versatility and ease of use, this makes it an excellent choice for a wide range of users.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned welder or just starting out, this welder offers a blend of functionality and affordability that’s hard to beat. It’s a tool that can grow with your skills and serve you well for many projects to come.

Our Trusted Vendors

YesWelder MIG-205DS-B

“For the money you paid for this welder, you’re getting a damn good little box. it’s compact, lightweight, and sports a feature set that you wouldn’t expect to see on most welders in this price range.”

Check YesWelder’s price

* Get 10% off with our code “WELDINGWATCH” at checkout!

Check Amazon’s price
Overview

Dimensions

18.11 x 8.07 x 14.17”

Weight

23lb / 10.4kg

Protection Class

IP21S

Voltage

110/220V 50/60 Hz

Positives
  • Versatility: Capable of MIG, stick, and TIG welding, making it suitable for a variety of projects.
  • Ease of Use: User-friendly interface, ideal for beginners and experienced welders alike.
  • Aluminum Welding Capability: Includes a spool gun for effective aluminum welding, a feature not always found in welders at this price point.
  • Improved Wire Feeding for Aluminum: Smooth wire feeding reduces the common issue of jamming when welding aluminum.
  • Stable Arc Performance: Maintains a stable arc across different welding processes and materials.
  • Portability: Compact and lightweight enough for easy transport and use in various locations.
  • Hot Start Feature: Makes stick welding easier, especially beneficial for beginners.
Negatives
  • Initial Quality Control Issue: Arrival with a broken foot, although customer service responded promptly.
  • Limited to Lighter Industrial Use: While versatile, it may not be suitable for heavy industrial applications.
  • Learning Curve for Advanced Features: Beginners might take time to fully utilize all advanced features and settings.
  • Spool Gun Sold Separately: For aluminum welding, the spool gun is an additional purchase.
  • Power Limitations on 110V: While capable of both 110V and 220V, performance is limited on the lower voltage.

This isn’t just your average welder; it’s like the Swiss Army knife of welders!

What’s really cool about the MIG-205DS-B is that it’s not just about MIG welding. It’s also ready for stick and TIG welding, which means you’re pretty much set for whatever welding challenge comes your way.

It’s especially handy if you’re working with different materials. From aluminum (yep, it’s got a spool gun for that) to good old steel, this welder handles them all with ease.

Design-wise, this thing is built to last.

Plus, it’s user-friendly. You don’t need to be a welding guru to get the hang of it. The controls are straightforward, making it a breeze to tweak your welding settings, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been at this for years.

Another big plus is how portable this welder is. It’s not going to take up a lot of space in your garage or workshop, and it’s easy to transport around to different job sites.

Unboxing and Components

What’s in the Box?

Here’s the lineup of goodies that come packed in the box:

  • MIG Torch: The star of the show. It feels solid in your hand, not too heavy, not too light – just right for getting those welds spot-on.
  • Stinger for Stick Welding: This bad boy is for the stick welding enthusiasts. It’s got a great grip and feels like it can handle some serious welding action.
  • Ground Clamp: Essential for any welding job, this clamp is sturdy and has a good bite, ensuring a secure and safe connection.
  • Air Line: This is your lifeline for the gas flow, connecting seamlessly and looking durable enough to handle the pressure.
  • 220 to 110 Adapter: Super handy for when you don’t have a 220V outlet around. It’s a simple plug-and-play solution that’s a real space-saver.
  • Extra Rollers: These little guys are crucial for different wire sizes, giving you the flexibility to switch between various welding jobs.
  • User Manual: Clear, concise, and to the point. Even if you’re new to the welding world, this manual makes setting up and getting started a walk in the park.
Unboxing the MIG-205DS
The MIG-205DS came neatly packed and all parts were undamaged and felt good and sturdy.

First Impressions

Right off the bat, each component screams quality. The MIG torch feels like it’s made to last, with a comfortable grip that makes you want to start welding right away. The stinger complements it well, offering a reliable grip for stick welding.

The ground clamp is another highlight. It’s robust and clamps down with confidence, ensuring a solid connection for safe welding. As for the air line, it’s flexible yet tough, clearly built to handle the demands of welding.

The 220 to 110 adapter is a lifesaver for different power setups, and it’s compact enough not to be in the way. The extra rollers are a thoughtful addition, allowing for easy switching between wire types and sizes, which is a huge plus for versatile welding.

First Look at the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B

The housing of the MIG-205DS-B is designed with practicality and durability in mind.

It’s not just about looks; this welder feels sturdy and well-built, ready to withstand the rigors of regular use in a workshop or on a job site. The black finish gives it a sleek, modern look that stands out in the workshop.

The trim around the welder adds a touch of sophistication to its overall design. It’s not merely decorative; it contributes to the structural integrity of the unit, reinforcing its sturdiness. This attention to detail in the design indicates a balance between aesthetics and functionality, a hallmark of quality equipment.

Perhaps most notably, the control shield is designed with the user in mind. It’s intuitive and easily accessible, allowing for quick adjustments and settings changes. This feature is particularly beneficial for those long days of welding, where efficiency and ease of use can significantly impact productivity and work quality.

Detailed Examination of the Welder

Delving deeper into the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B, we found a range of features that make this welder stand out. Let’s get into it!

Front Panel Features:

  • Dense Polarity and Euro Connector: The front panel boasts a dense polarity switch, allowing for quick changes between positive and negative welding setups. This feature is particularly useful for different welding applications, providing flexibility and ease of use. Additionally, the inclusion of a Euro connector is a notable advantage. It offers a standardized connection for the MIG torch, enhancing compatibility and making torch replacements or upgrades hassle-free.

Spool Holder and Wire Drive System:

  • Spool Holder: The spool holder is designed to accommodate a variety of spool sizes, which is essential for tackling different welding projects. Its ability to switch between smaller and larger spools adds to the welder’s versatility.
  • Wire Drive System: A standout feature is the all-metal wire drive system. This robust construction ensures reliable and consistent wire feeding, a crucial aspect for smooth welding operations. The metal build also suggests longevity and resistance to wear and tear compared to plastic counterparts.

Rear Features:

  • Cooling Fan: The rear of the welder houses a cooling fan, an essential component for maintaining optimal operating temperatures during prolonged use. This helps in preserving the longevity of the welder by preventing overheating.
  • Gas Inlet: The gas inlet is strategically placed for easy and secure connection to gas sources, whether you’re using CO2, Argon, or a mixed gas for MIG welding.
  • Power Switch: Located at the rear for safety and convenience, the power switch is easily accessible, allowing for quick power on/off without having to reach over the unit.

Duty Cycle Information:

The duty cycle of the MIG-205DS-B varies depending on the welding process and voltage being used. This welder offers a 60% duty cycle at full power, which is quite impressive.

At 220 volts, the MIG welding amperage ranges from 30 to 205 amps, while at 110 volts, it goes from 30 to 160 amps.

For stick and flux core welding, the range slightly differs, ensuring that the welder can handle a variety of materials and thicknesses efficiently.

The TIG welding feature further extends its versatility, making it suitable for precision welding tasks.

MIG-205DS control panel
The MIG-205DS Control Panel was pretty simple to use, with a decent selection of advanced features for more experienced welders.

Learning the Control Panel

The control panel of the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B is a central feature that enhances the user experience by offering precision and versatility in welding operations.

Let’s break down its components and functionalities:

Adjustment Knob Functionalities:

  • Inductance: This setting controls the width and penetration of the weld bead. By adjusting the inductance, welders can either achieve a wider, wetter weld pool or a narrower, more concentrated weld, depending on the project requirements.
  • STP (2T/4T Modes): This function provides options for the trigger operation. In 2T mode, pressing the trigger initiates welding, and releasing it stops the process. In 4T mode, pressing and releasing the trigger starts the weld, but you need to press and release again to stop it, which is useful for long welds.
  • Hot Start: Essential for stick welding, the hot start function helps in striking the arc by temporarily boosting the current, ensuring a quick and clean start to the weld.
  • Feeder Speed: This controls the speed at which the wire is fed from the machine into the weld. Adjusting the feeder speed is crucial for achieving consistent weld quality.
  • Burn Back: This setting adjusts the amount of wire that burns back to the tip after welding, ensuring optimal wire length for the next weld.

Wire Size Selection:

  • The panel allows for selection among various wire sizes (0.23″, 0.30″, 0.35″, 0.45″), enabling welders to choose the appropriate wire based on the material thickness and type of welding.

Process Selection:

  • Manual MIG: Offers full control over all welding parameters, suitable for experienced welders who prefer custom settings.
  • Synergic MIG: Automatically adjusts welding parameters based on the wire size and material thickness, ideal for beginners or for quicker setup.
  • Stick Welding: Specifically tailored for stick welding operations, adjusting the machine’s settings to suit electrodes and materials commonly used in stick welding.
  • Lift TIG: Allows for TIG welding with a lift start, which is less likely to contaminate the tungsten or the workpiece, making it suitable for precise and clean welds.

Material Selector:

  • This feature helps in fine-tuning the welder according to the type of material being welded, such as different gas mixtures (100% CO2, 75/25 CO2/Argon, etc.) or for flux-cored welding. This helps in achieving the best possible weld quality for the chosen material.

To be honest, the control panel of the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B is thoughtfully designed for both ease of use and precision.

Its range of adjustable settings, combined with the flexibility of choosing different welding modes, makes it a versatile tool suitable for a wide array of welding tasks and skill levels.

Wire Feeder Setup

Setting up the wire feeder in the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B is a crucial step in preparing for a successful welding session.

Here’s a detailed guide to ensure a smooth setup:

  1. Open the Side Panel: Start by opening the side panel of the welder to access the wire feeder.
  2. Selecting the Correct Drive Roller:
    • Identify the wire size you’ll be using (0.23″, 0.30″, 0.35″, or 0.45″).
    • Choose the corresponding drive roller. The rollers are typically marked with the wire sizes they accommodate.
  3. Installing the Drive Roller:
    • Align the drive roller with the keyway on the feeder shaft.
    • Slide it in place and secure it by tightening the set screw or knob, ensuring it’s firmly attached.
  4. Loading the Wire Spool:
    • Mount the wire spool onto the spool holder. Ensure it’s oriented so the wire feeds off the bottom of the spool.
    • Secure the spool with the retaining nut, but don’t over-tighten it. The spool should rotate freely but without excessive play.
  5. Threading the Wire:
    • Cut the end of the wire cleanly to avoid feeding issues.
    • Lift the tension arm to release the pressure on the rollers.
    • Feed the wire through the inlet guide, between the rollers, and then through the outlet guide.
    • Lower the tension arm back into place, ensuring the rollers securely grip the wire but without excessive pressure.
  6. Feeding the Wire Through the Torch:
    • Ensure the welding torch is straight to facilitate smooth wire feeding.
    • Turn on the welder and use the wire feed function to automatically feed the wire through the torch cable until it protrudes from the torch tip.
  7. Adjusting Tension and Speed:
    • Adjust the tension so that the wire feeds consistently without slipping or deforming.
    • Set the wire feed speed according to the welding parameters you plan to use.

Understanding Different Rollers and Their Uses

Different rollers are designed to handle various types of wire effectively:

  • Smooth Rollers: Typically used for solid MIG wires such as those used in gas MIG welding.
  • Knurled Rollers: Best suited for flux-cored wires, as the knurled pattern grips the softer wire without crushing it.
  • U-Groove Rollers: These are used for aluminum wire, as aluminum is softer and requires a more delicate grip to prevent deformation.

Selecting the correct roller for your wire type is essential in ensuring smooth, uninterrupted wire feeding and, consequently, a stable and high-quality weld.

MIG Welding Review

Setting it up:

  1. After installing the appropriate wire and adjusting the feeder tension, select the MIG welding mode on the control panel.
  2. Adjust the voltage and wire feed speed according to the material thickness.
  3. Ensure the gas flow is correctly set up, using either pure CO2 or a mixed gas.

If you’re planning to work with thinner metals, you’ll find the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B to be an excellent ally. This welder truly excels in handling delicate materials. You’ll notice that it produces smooth, clean welds with very little spatter, which is a big deal when you’re working with thin sheets. Spatter can be a nuisance, often requiring additional cleanup or even leading to damage on thin materials. The MIG-205DS-B’s performance in this regard means your finishing work will be greatly reduced, saving you time and hassle.

What’s more, the welder allows for fine-tuning of settings, which is a game-changer for precision work. When welding thin metals, controlling the heat input is critical to avoid warping or burn-through. The MIG-205DS-B provides you with the control you need to adjust the voltage and wire feed speed to the exact requirements of your project. This level of control ensures that you can achieve the perfect balance between penetration and heat input, resulting in high-quality welds even on the most delicate of materials.

If you need to weld something thicker, this is where the MIG-205DS-B shows its strength and reliability.

When you’re welding thicker materials, you need a welder that can deliver a stable arc and deep penetration, and this welder does just that. The arc stability is a key factor here; it helps in maintaining a consistent weld pool and ensures that the weld penetrates deeply into the workpiece. This is crucial for creating strong, structural welds.

The consistent heat input provided by the MIG-205DS-B is another aspect you’ll appreciate. When welding thicker steel, inconsistent heat can lead to weak welds or excessive distortion. This welder maintains a steady heat input, ensuring that your welds are not only aesthetically pleasing but also structurally sound. The result is strong, reliable welds that you can trust, whether you’re working on a small project in your garage or a larger professional job.

MIG-205DS Steel Weld
The MIG-205DS performaed very well on steel, it made a nice arc. color us impressed!

Stick Welding Review

Setting it up:

  1. Switch to the stick welding mode on the panel.
  2. Install the appropriate electrode in the stinger.
  3. Adjust the amperage based on the electrode size and material thickness.

As you venture into the realm of stick welding, one of the first challenges you might face is striking an arc. It can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re just starting out. This is where the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B steps in to make your life easier.

The welder is equipped with a ‘hot start’ feature, which is a real game-changer for beginners. This feature boosts the current at the start of the weld, helping you to initiate the arc more easily.

This means less frustration and more productive time welding, particularly when you’re still getting the hang of it.

Another aspect you’ll find beneficial is the welder’s ability to handle different types of electrodes. This flexibility is crucial, as different projects might require different electrodes.

For instance, some electrodes are better suited for welding rusty or dirty materials, while others are designed for specific positions or types of metal. The MIG-205DS-B’s adaptability in this regard means you’re not limited in the types of projects you can take on. Whether you’re working on a repair job with challenging materials or a new build with clean stock, this welder is up for the task.

MIG-205DS Aluminium Weld
We were impressed how the MIG-205DS handled Aluminium!

Welding Aluminum with Spool Gun Review

Setting it up:

  1. Clean the aluminum thoroughly to remove any oxide layer or contaminants. A dedicated aluminum brush is recommended.
  2. Assemble the spool gun with aluminum wire and connect it to the welder.
  3. Adjust the settings suitable for aluminum, typically requiring a higher wire feed speed and voltage.

When you’re gearing up to weld aluminum, a metal known for its quirks and challenges, the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B with its spool gun is a tool you’ll want by your side.

If you’ve worked with aluminum before, you’re probably aware of its tendency to jam during welding, which can be a real hassle. This is largely due to aluminum’s softness and the fact that it melts at a lower temperature compared to other metals like steel.

But here’s the good news: the spool gun included with the 205DS is designed specifically to tackle this issue.

The spool gun feeds the aluminum wire smoothly and consistently, which is crucial in preventing those frustrating wire jams. This smooth feed results from the spool gun being closer to the torch, minimizing the distance the wire needs to travel.

This setup is a key factor in achieving a smooth, uninterrupted welding experience with aluminum. It means you can focus more on the weld itself and less on the wire feeding issues, making your welding process more efficient and enjoyable.

The MIG-205DS-B produces welds that are clean, with a good bead appearance and proper penetration. These are the hallmarks of a good weld, especially with a tricky material like aluminum. A clean weld means less cleanup work afterward, and proper penetration is crucial for the strength and integrity of the weld.

Maintaining a stable arc on aluminum is often a challenge due to its high thermal conductivity and lower melting point. However, the MIG-205DS-B manages to maintain this stability, allowing for a more controlled and consistent welding process. This stable arc is key to achieving those clean, strong welds on aluminum, and it’s something that not all welders can manage as effectively.

My Final Thoughts

When I first received the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B, my expectations were cautiously optimistic.

Welders, as you know, we’re a mixed bag, especially when dealing with a new model!

However, the actual performance of the MIG-205DS-B exceeded my initial expectations. It demonstrated versatility and reliability across various welding processes, which is impressive for a welder in its price range.

Comparing it to its predecessor, the older MIG 205 DS, the MIG-205DS-B shows significant improvements. The older model was a solid performer in its own right, but the MIG-205DS-B steps up with enhanced features like better wire feeding for aluminum, a more user-friendly interface, and a broader range of welding capabilities. These upgrades make it not just a successor but a superior version in practical terms.

In terms of capabilities, the MIG-205DS-B stands out in several areas:

  • MIG Welding: It offers smooth, clean welds with minimal spatter, which is a significant advantage, especially when working with thinner materials.
  • Aluminum Welding: The addition of the spool gun and the welder’s ability to maintain a stable arc with aluminum is a standout feature, making it a valuable tool for projects involving this challenging material.
  • Stick Welding: Its ease of use and consistency in stick welding is noteworthy, especially for beginners or those who occasionally delve into stick welding.

Would I Recommend It?

If you’re in the market for a versatile, reliable, and reasonably priced welder, the YesWelder MIG-205DS-B is a strong contender.

It’s particularly well-suited for hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and even small professional workshops. The price point is attractive for the features and capabilities it offers.

It’s an investment that provides value far beyond its cost, especially considering its performance across different types of welding.

Our Trusted Vendors

YesWelder MIG-205DS-B

“For the money you paid for this welder, you’re getting a damn good little box. it’s compact, lightweight, and sports a feature set that you wouldn’t expect to see on most welders in this price range.”

Check YesWelder’s price

* Get 10% off with our code “WELDINGWATCH” at checkout!

Check Amazon’s price

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