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.