January 31, 2020
After a week of owning a new Miller 141; I happily switched back to my 10 year old Hobart 125 Handler.
I was a welder by trade for many years and now I restore classic cars as a hobby. I have welded miles of mig wire installing floor boards, body panels, inner panels, and repairing sheet metal. I started a new project, and decided to buy a nice welder that offers infinite adjustment for welding 22-24 gauge metal. I chose Miller because of past experience welding with a Miller mig, brand reputation, and positive reviews. I was expecting great performance.
I am very disappointed with the performance of the 141 when tack/plug welding and stitch welding of 22 gauge automotive sheet metal. The welding surfaces that I am welding are clean of rust or paint. When I pull the trigger the mig wire starts out slowly and balls up, and does not fully penetrate. My setup is .024 wire, 75% argon, 25% CO2. I have tried the auto set feature for 24 and 22 gauge/.024 wire, and manual settings. I spoke with Miller Tech support and they described the smooth start feature as ramping up the wire speed for 3 seconds after pulling the trigger. I believe this is causing my issues. Miller tech support said there was no way to disable this feature. Even when I hold the trigger for longer than 3 seconds the wire is balling up and dripping. I have tried the manual setting without much better results. I have attempted welding with the voltage set at 1, 2 and 2.5 and the wire speed set from 40 to 50. The wire either balls up or burns through the metal. The person I spoke with at Miller basically told me too bad & and that the welder is working as designed. Cyberweld told me that since I used the welder it could not be returned for a refund. The advertised application mentions auto/body I am not able to get smooth plug or stitch welds on automotive metal. Holding the trigger for 3 seconds to get consistent wire speed will warp the metal.
At least I still have my Hobart to weld with, while my nice looking Blue Miller 141 is collecting dust in the corner of my garage.
Smooth start feature is not good for tack/plug welding or stitch welding.
Difficult to weld 22 and 24 gauge without burn through or wire balling up.
My experience with using this welder for auto/body as advertised under application is that it is not a good choice for this purpose.