If you need to get some welding fabrication or repair work done, using a MIG welder is one of the easiest ways to go. Unless you’re working on heavy duty steel and thick pipe, you’re usually not going to need the stick welders. In today’s review, we’re going to be taking a look at the Lotos MIG 140 welding machine. Whether you’re an experienced welder, or you’re just picking up the skill for the first time, you’ll appreciate everything that this powerful little welder brings to the table.
The Lotos MIG 140 can handle most small to medium-sized jobs that you could ever imagine, and the machine can run like an absolute champion for hours at a time. It’s also portable, which makes it perfect for traveling welders and repair crews since you’re not bound to your own garage.
Before we get into the meat of our review, let’s take a few minutes to review some of the basic specifications about the Lotos MIG 140 machine:
- Input Power: 110 Volt
- Output Power: 140 AMP
- Weight: 54 Pounds
- Dimensions: 9.6 inches x 14.5 inches x 16 inches
- Spool Diameter: Accommodates 4-inch or 8-inch diameter spools
- Wire Size: 0.025-inch and 0.030-inch solid wire or 0.030-inch and 0.035-inch flux core wire
As you can see from the specs, this is a fairly versatile machine. One of the best things about using a smaller MIG unit like the Lotos 140 is that they only require 110 Volt power. This means that you can plug it into just about any standardized socket in the United States and get your work done without having to look for a higher voltage 220 Volt circuit.
Everything about this product was designed to make your life and tasks as a welder simpler and easier than ever before. It’s a machine that’s simple enough for beginners to use and intuitive enough to cater to the desires and needs of more advanced welders.
Here are some of the key aspects that make this machine such an attractive product.
The Lotos MIG 140 is a truly beautiful welding machine. The small unit features a black control panel with easy to read knobs and switches. It’s encased in a scarlet red outer plating, and has four rubber legs that allow circulation to get underneath the machine, and prevent electrical currents from being absorbed through the outer plates which could cause irrecoverable damage.
Aside from the sleek design and attractive appearance, the Lotos 140 is built to last. It’s made from durable metal, is shock-resistant, and is very well put together. If you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of using a cheap welding machine that sounds like it’s falling apart while you’re using it, then this well be a breath of fresh air for you.
While you wouldn’t want to drop it off of the side of a building, it can certainly take its fair share of abuse that’s commonly seen on commercial job sites.
One of our favorite features about the Lotos MIG 140 is how portable that it is. At just 54-pounds, you can pick this machine up with ease and store it in the back of your truck or move it around between jobs. It requires very little time to set up and can be wired directly into any household 110-volt socket.
Looking at its dimensions, you’ll see that you can store your welder almost anywhere as well. At just 16 inches long by 14.5 inches wide, this machine only takes up about as much space as a couple gallons of milk from the grocery store.
Whether you’re a small repair crew or you own your own mobile welding business, this machine will cut down on those long hauls with the giant 300-pound machines that require a lift to even transport them in the first place. The great thing is that this small machine can handle most of the small jobs that require a mobile set up to begin with.
We really liked the control panel on this machine as well. While the general layout doesn’t usually vary that much between welding machines, the devil is in the details, and the new Lotos 140 has made a few upgrades on their most recent 2017 model.
The first thing that you’ll notice is the digital displays. Most portable units that you’ll find on the market only have the knobs. While these can get you within range of the best setting for the job, they make it near impossible to maintain 100% consistent work in the event that somebody accidentally touches a knob and knocks it out of its sweet spot.
With this machine, you’ll be able to adjust the arc voltage down the nearest tenth, and the exact inches per minute that the wire will be fed. This way you’ll be able to maintain an accurate and consistent workflow that minimizes the amount of mistakes you’ll make and let’s you weld smoother than ever.
In addition to this, the new model also includes a 2T/4T switch so that you can easily switch the current preset and accommodate hot starts.
What Can It Handle?
One of the most important things to take note of when you’re looking at welding machines is how much they can handle. As we’ve already mentioned, the Lotos MIG 140 can handle almost any small job that you throw at it, but here are some more specific numbers for various different types of metal:
- Stainless Steel: 18 Gauge – 3/16-inch
- Mild Steel: 18 Gauge – 3/16-inch
- Aluminum: 1/8-inch
As you can see, this powerful little beast can take care of aluminum sheet metal and plating, and can even handle up to 3/16-inch of steel. You wouldn’t want to try fabricating heavy duty gear with this, but when it comes to small repairs and light fabrication, you’re 100% covered.
In addition to this, the machine can handle constant use for hours at a time. This limits the downtime that you’ll have to give the machine and means that you’ll be able to finish your job on time every time.
Now that you’re a bit more acquainted with the machine, let’s take a look at some of the key features under the hood that really make the Lotos MIG 140 such a great bang for your buck.
While this machine is designed primarily for MIG, it has no problem handling flux-core welding as well. You can use the Lotos 140 with or without gas depending on your needs, but if you do opt for gas welding, then you’ll need to purchase a separate gas cylinder. A gas hose is included in the box, though, so that’s one less thing that you’ll have to buy.
Ground Cable Quick-Connect
If you look at most of the old-school welding units, the ground cable connector can only be changed from inside the box. This meant that you had to take off the panel, break out your wrenches, and mess around inside the machine itself. Not only is this somewhat dangerous, but it also increases the risk of you accidentally damaging important internal components.
On the Lotos MIG 140, you can quickly switch between positive and negative flow with the intuitive ground cable quick connector that allows you to swap out cables in seconds.
Aluminum Wire Feeder
One of the key differences that you’ll usually notice when comparing industrial and personal MIG welding machines is the wire feeder. Most personal units use a plastic wire feeder. While this gets the job done, they tend to break easily and can’t stand up to the constant wire feeding and continual usage that your average industrial machine can.
While the Lotos 140 is priced like a personal machine at just under $400, it is built to industrial standards and features an aluminum wire feeder that’s as durable as it is reliable. This means that you won’t have to worry about your wire jamming and getting all caught up in the spool and feeder halfway through a large project.
Thermal Cut-Out System
While it doesn’t happen often, welding machines can often experience power overloads. When you’re working with a device that converts and channels electrical energy, you can never be too careful.
Thankfully, the Lotos 140 comes with a thermal cut-out system that prevents this from happening. Whenever the machine senses a power surge coming, it automatically cuts the connection to prevent the internal components from becoming damaged. This ensures that your machine will last you for years as you won’t have to worry about sudden freak accidents as much as you would with older, more traditional welding machines.
Pros of the Lotos MIG 140
If you’re like most readers, you’ll probably skip everything and go straight to the pros and cons section. That being said, here are the key advantages to the Lotos MIG 140.
The best thing about this unit is the price. It’s currently priced at just over $380 on Amazon. When you look at the incredible product that you’re getting, it really is a steal. Lotos designed their 140 MIG welder to industrial standards using only the highest quality materials. It can run for hours at time, and it can handle almost any small job that you throw at it. This machine could easily be priced upwards of $700 if the manufacturers really wanted to charge the price.
The Lotos MIG 140 is designed to be incredibly easy to use. From the ground quick-connect to the digital displays and perfectly tensioned adjustment knobs, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a small portable machine that has so much thought put into a user-friendly design.
You can take this machine anywhere. It weighs only 54 pounds and can fit behind your seat or in your trunk without any problems.
Ease Of Use
This unit is designed to work with a standard household 110-volt circuit which means that you can hook it up and use it almost anywhere. Once you factor in the quick-connect and the easy-adjustment knobs, this machine takes less than 10 minutes to set up and break down.
From the rubber feet to the solid stainless steel casing, this machine is built to last. It even has a thermal cut-off system to prevent power overloads and overheating.
Cons of the Lotos MIG 140
We wouldn’t be giving you our honest review if we didn’t include a few of the downsides to this welder. While there aren’t many, there are a few that are worth mentioning.
Can’t Run Off Of A Generator
Unfortunately, this small machine is designed to be used with a steady 110-volt household circuit that’s set up on a 20 Amp breaker. While this is extremely convenient, it means that it can’t be used remotely with a power generator. You’ll need to be close to a reliable source of power if you want to use this machine.
Can’t Handle Large Jobs
This is a small, portable machine. It’s designed to handle most small repairs and minor fabrication work that you’ll come across, but it won’t be able to handle large construction jobs that require more power and penetration.
Whether you’re an experienced welder, or you just need a small machine to get some simple fabrication projects out of the way, the Lotos MIG 140 is a great machine that can handle a lot. It’s hands-down one of the best welding machines that you’ll find priced under $400. It’s durable, powerful, and most of all easy to transport.
If you take care of this machine, it will take care of you. Lotos has been engineering high-quality welding machines, plasma cutters, and other machinery for years, and they’ve built a reputation for great customer support and products to match. The Lotos MIG 140 is loaded with intuitive features, and will last you for years to come.