As a relative newcomer to the welding market, the Vulcan brand is the result of a strong marketing partnership with Harbor Freight Tools. They are backing the high-performance Vulcan Master Welder equipment line.
According to Harbor Freight, its Vulcan products offer industry-leading inverter technology. This helps to provide users with better arc control in a more efficient, lightweight welder. Even better, these high-end features and professional-grade performance are available at Harbor Freight’s famously affordable price point, even on outside websites such as Amazon.
Below is a comprehensive review and guide of their entry-level offering: the Vulcan Migmax 140. This is one of the pound-for-pound leaders in MIG welding that we have tested in our extensive product research and development.
About the Vulcan Migmax 140
Vulcan has released a new MIG welder into the wild: the Vulcan Migmax 140. This welder is truly turning some heads in welding communities. Experts have admitted that the Migmax 140 is one of the most technologically advanced MIG welders on the market. To start, the Vulcan Migmax 140 is incredibly efficient compared to alternatives.
It is user friendly, not requiring a great deal of effort and expertise to get started. This review of the Vulcan Migmax 140 MIG welder is intended to uncover inside details regarding this welder. This is to keep our readers informed on matters of usability, accessibility, and most importantly efficiency.
Find out information from firsthand users on the ins and outs of the Vulcan Migmax 140, and see why it tops our list of best MIG welders in the Vulcan welder review below. We also dive into other opportunities from Vulcan, as well as alternatives that we have reviewed, and suggested accessories.
Be warned, this guide is extensive. We at Tool Guides Hub do this to ensure that you as a potential buyer have all the information needed before making a purchase decision.
Vulcan Welder Review – Migmax 140: Design, Weight and Dimensions
The Migmax 140 Vulcan Welder is a great welding machine, period. Visually, its body is a combination of orange and occasional blue coloring. There are logos and wording on the frame written in white.
It is a light weight power tool compared to competing MIG welders in the same space. This is impressive, considering that it is made from industrial grade aluminum. In fact, this welder is the lightest in its class compared to alternative MIG welders with similar output levels.
This makes the Migmax 140 very convenient for users whose jobs involve frequent traveling. The lightweight feature of this product also contributes to its high portability overall. Users will find it easy to carry around the 48-pound MIG welder. The dimensions of the Vulcan Migmax 140 welder are 21 x 16 x 11 inches as well. This is a small footprint, which makes it even more compact and portable.
We don’t have a work truck or a panel van, but when we tested out the Migmax 140, we buckled it into the back of a Toyota sedan with zero issues. At its weight, we were able to carry it around with one hand, with a spool gun and mask in the other. In fact, with handles in the front, back and center, one- or two-hand carry approaches work equally wonderful.
Vulcan Welder’s Anti-Spatter Technology
The arc welding technologies of Vulcan welders make them one of the most simple to start MIG welders currently on the market. In addition, many users who left a Vulcan welder review noted that the welder has a spatter free start. This is a bonus with smaller, less expensive MIG welders.
For this reason, users have no need to be concerned about molten metal flecks emitting as a result of ignition spatter. This is rampant in most traditional lower-price point MIG welding equipment.
Additionally, users benefit from the Vulcan’s advanced technology through lessened post-weld cleanup costs. Anti-spatter spray is by no means inexpensive. The hassles involved with getting the proper mixture of argon and carbon dioxide know no bounds as well. Yet, all of these efforts still don’t manage to eliminate spatter as a whole. This is because they are only meant to provide spatter reduction. Vulcan’s advanced features allow the metal to have finishes that are close to perfect.
Advanced Features of Vulcan Welders
An additional incredible feature of the Vulcan Migmax 140, according to one lengthy Vulcan welder review, is that it contains an industrial-grade cast aluminum drive system inside its tiny frame. What the aluminum drive system does is make it incredibly simple to feed flux core and solid wires.
These wires can be up to 15 feet long without requiring the use of any tools. Manufacturers kept the necessary needs of modern handymen and welders at the forefront of their mind. They designed this system to be as intuitive and user friendly as possible.
By working their hands around Vulcan welding systems in effective manners, they managed to develop a tool free design. Isn’t that clever? Additionally, the equipment comes spool gun ready. This means that there is no need to purchase a hard-to-find and expensive adapter to prepare for MIG welding work. However, it is worth noting that the Vulcan Migmax 140 does not come with a spool gun already. It will need to be purchased separately. We recommend the Hobart 300796 SpoolRunner 100.
Power Rating of Vulcan Welders
MIG welding machines are only as good as their associated power rating. You can’t separate the power rating and compare welders. This is because a lot of the driving force between MIG welder purchase decisions derive from the power needs of the buyer. This Vulcan welder review serves to do more than sample power ratings. Let’s dive in.
The Vulcan Migmax 140 has an input of 120 volts. This couples with superior inverter technology to provide the strongest quality output power. This, in turn, ensures that the MIG welders welds are effective, sturdy, and of high caliber.
Many reviewers and consistent users of Vulcan welding products commend its fault-free inverter technology. They note that it is an innovation to run DC power, as DC is more portable and can be conserved more easily than simple AC current.
The output power of the Vulcan Migmax 140 ranges from 30 to 140dc. This is a solid power rating, especially when compared to competing welding machines at the same price range. It’s even more impressive after seeing size comparisons and portability ratings.
Pros and Cons of the Vulcan Migmax 140 MIG Welder
The Vulcan Migmax 140 has been designed for professional welders. However, it was also built such that amateurs can take advantage of the product. This makes it a solid option for all ranges and skill levels. The first big draw to the Migmax is the cutting edge spatter reduction technology mentioned above.
Advantages of the Vulcan Migmax 140
Many professional MIG welders confirm that scarred, uneven surfaces result mostly from spatter ignition more than anything else. The fact that this model of MIG welder comes with anti spatter features make it a solid go-to for on-the-go welders.
Secondly, while on the topic of portability, the Mixmax is one of the most lightweight and portable welding machines in its class. According to one Vulcan welder review, the ease of carrying it around makes it a great go-to welder. They state it’s great for amateurs, professionals, and anyone who finds themselves needing to travel to welding gigs.
Also, this welder comes with a one year satisfaction guarantee, which serves to not only provide some user confidence and assurance, but also to let buyers know that Vulcan stands behind their products.
Disadvantages of the Vulcan Migmax 140
However, despite the cutting edge welding technology, anti-spatter advancements, and great portability, one Vulcan welder review states some criticisms around its price point. The reviewer noted that the Vulcan Migmax was frequently priced higher than bulkier alternatives at the same power level.
Additionally, the fact that this welder does not come with a spool gun means that users will need to buy one separately if they are not already in possession of a spool gun of their own. This can be discouraging to some welders, especially those on a budget, or those looking to purchase a whole package deal. Vulcan makes a spool gun, available here.
Other Vulcan Welders
If the Vulcan Migmax 140 isn’t quite right for your welding needs, the Vulcan line includes several other powerful units packed with a wide range of features.
OmniPro 220 Industrial Multiprocess Welder
The Vulcan OmniPro 220 is a versatile all-purpose welder capable of completing TIG, MIG, stick and flux welds. It’s a great choice for small shops and contractors. At less than 50 pounds, it’s also easy to transport for shop or field use.
Its intuitive setup panel is pre-loaded with 132 welding programs. This welder can also be customized to accommodate individual jobs. There is also a convenient memory feature that quickly recalls frequently-used settings.
The OmniPro 220 offers dual-voltage technology for 120V or 240V input, with a duty cycle of 200 amps at 25 percent. Innovative inverter technology makes the unit not only lightweight. However, it is more efficient and just as powerful as transformer-powered welders. Best of all, you can test-drive it for up to a year at no risk with Harbor Freight’s generous money-back guarantee.
MIGMax 215 Industrial Welder
The Vulcan MIGMax 215 Industrial Welder delivers professional-grade performance with hassle-free setup. Simply select your process, wire diameter and material thickness and let the welder do the work. The cast aluminum drive system provides a smooth feed for both solid and flux core wire up to 15 feet. Additionally, the Migmax 215 spool gun-ready for working with aluminum.
The tool-free design makes process and wire changeovers seamless. Users rave about its advanced arc-starting technology and spatter-free starts. Meanwhile, its dual-voltage 120V/240V input gives you maximum flexibility to weld just about anywhere.
Like the OmniPro 220, the MIGMax 215 uses high-performance, high-efficiency inverter technology. Also, it’s backed by a one-year satisfaction guarantee.
ProTIG 165 Industrial Welder
If you’re ready to transition into TIG welding, the ProTIG 165 Industrial Welder is simple enough for beginners to master while still delivering the features and power an experienced professional would expect. The ProTIG 165 can handle GTAW (DC), GTAW-P (DC) and SMAW (DC) processes over a broad range of materials. This includes stainless, chrome-moly and ferrous cast.
At just 20 pounds, it would be hard to find a more portable unit at this quality and price point. This makes it ideal for field maintenance, process piping, automotive and food and beverage industry uses.
Like the other welders in the Vulcan line, it relies on inverter power for maximum performance and efficient operation. Its dual-voltage capability, built-in pulsing and high-frequency arc starting make it a standout in its category.
Alternatives to the Vulcan MIGMax 140
While Vulcan hasn’t yet built up the longevity and name recognition of some of its rivals, the following models are comparable to the MIGMax 140 and are reliable alternatives to the Vulcan unit.
Hobart Handler 140
The Hobart Handler 140 is a versatile, MIG-ready welder that provides professional-level performance in a package compatible with most home shops. It uses standard 115V household current but is capable of handling a wide variety of jobs. This ranges from auto body repairs and household tasks, to more demanding farm and light industrial projects.
Though powerful enough to satisfy seasoned welders, the Hobart’s effortless setup and intuitive interface have made it a favorite among beginning welders. It can be used for both MIG and flux-core processes. This allows it to handle both thin and thick materials, including 24-gauge to quarter-inch mild steel.
The Handler 140 is extremely lightweight and portable, making it easy to transport to jobs in the field. Note, though, that it can’t be used with generators. It delivers a consistently smooth, steady arc and includes a five-setting voltage control selector for custom projects.
Best of all, the kit includes virtually everything you’ll need to start welding. This includes a heavy-duty work clamp, safety regulators, wire spool and spare contact tips. All of this makes the Hobart an excellent value for your money. Do keep in mind that you’ll need a gas cylinder, so be sure to consider that expense in your cost calculations.
Lincoln Power MIG 140 MP
Weighing in at 35 pounds, the Lincoln Power MIG 140 MP is a lightweight, portable welder that supports MIG, Stick, Flux-Cored and DC TIG welding processes. The intuitive user interface and simple setup make it easy to use for welders of all experience levels, and it offers fast, tool-less drive roll changeovers and basic two-knob operation. It conveniently connects to 120V household outlets, so it’s a reliable choice for home workshops and field jobs.
Miller Electric Millermatic 141
The Millermatic 141 evolved from the popular Millermatic 140 model, which was originally created for hobby welders and professionals looking for a seamless user experience and advanced control. This updated version is suitable for a variety of home projects, auto body repairs, manufacturing work and art.
One of the major upgrades to the unit is the new auto-set control feature. This simply requires you to select the wire diameter and material thickness and the welder does the rest.
Experienced welders who prefer a manual setup can still do so by customizing the controls from 10 wire-feed speed settings and infinite voltage control settings. The Millermatic 141 welds steel and stainless steel from 24-gauge to 3/16 inch and 14-gauge to 18-gauge aluminum.
Everlast Power I-MIG 140E
The Everlast Power I-MIG 140E is one of the lightest, most portable welders in its class at just 28 pounds. However, it holds its own against heavier models in terms of power and performance. Its state-of-the-art IGBT inverter maintains a higher amp output with a better duty cycle compared to transformer-powered MIG welders, and its 120V connection makes it convenient for use nearly anywhere you decide to take it.
Infinite options for wire speed and voltage control allow users to fully customize the settings to tackle a wide range of projects. However, the base model doesn’t include a flux-core function, so if that feature is important to you, you’ll need to purchase a separate drive roller or consider a different model.
Though the Vulcan MIGMax 140 provides virtually everything you need to dive into your projects, if you’re new to welding, we do strongly recommend purchasing several critical safety accessories as well as a few other items that will enhance your abilities in the shop.
- Helmet: The importance of wearing a high-quality darkening helmet while welding cannot be overstated. Not only does it protect your face and neck from the extremely hot materials involved in welding, but it also helps prevent the permanent eye damage that can result from exposure to the infrared light of the welding arc.
- Gloves: Like the helmet, a sturdy pair of welding gloves keeps your hands and arms from being burned or otherwise injured by the heat and electricity generated during the welding process.
- Welding jacket: A jacket made from flame-resistant cotton or leather protects your upper body from heat and sparks produced by the welding torch. Make sure the fit of the jacket allows you full range of motion without being so loose that it allows gaps for heat or flame to sneak in.
- Fire extinguisher: This safety mainstay should be within easy reach of your work space and A-B-C rated to handle any kind of fire you may encounter.
- Spool gun: As mentioned earlier, the Vulcan MIGMax 140 kit does not include a spool gun, so you may want to consider investing in this tool to expand your welding capabilities.
- Cart: While not essential, a welding cart makes your work much easier by keeping your welder, gas cylinders and accessories secure, organized and ready to use. Look for a cart with smooth-rolling wheels, locking casters and ample space for dry storage of tips, grounding clamps and other supplies.
Vulcan Welder Review – Wrapping Up
The high quality of Vulcan’s welding products speak volume of the company. Vulcan is a brand leader in effective and efficient welding machines. There are only a few welders out there that have the capacity to boast a combination of arc starting technology, tool-free design, and industrial grade cast aluminum drive systems. This explains its higher price entry point. But the lightweight design make it to where, if this was a boxing match, the Vulcan Migmax 140 would easily be the “pound for pound champion”.
If you are a welding professional and don’t mind the slight premium price of this welder, this is for you. If you don’t mind the need to purchase a spool gun on your own, then Vulcan Migmax 140 MIG welder is the perfect marriage of quality and expectations.
With its lightweight, versatile units, high performance ratings and advanced technology, Vulcan is clearly the new name to watch in the welding industry. The Vulcan Master Welder series offers an outstanding value to welders of all experience levels, and combined with the worry-free one-year satisfaction guarantee, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking the MIGMax 140 or one of its sister models for an extended test run.