Welding can be a tricky business. One thing that can make it significantly easier for you is by making sure that you understand the equipment that you’re using. And I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes, that isn’t easy.
Sometimes, the differences between equipment can be so subtle that they may not seem like a big deal at all, but every good welder knows that it’s in the minor details that make the best welds.
In this comparison guide, I’ll be talking about Lincoln Electric’s 140C and 140HD MIG Welders. Same series, same function, but a world of difference once you understand what each one does best. So if you want to understand the differences between these two models and why they matter, then keep reading.
Why The Lincoln 140?
Any welder will have heard of Lincoln Electric and its long-standing commitment to making quality welding equipment. They’ve been around since 1895, and they’ve made their mark on making a variety of accessible welding tools without skimping on quality or sinking you with the price.
Their 140 series of MIG welders are some of the best examples of these mindsets: versatile, reliable, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance to work well. It’s perfect for both amateur and veteran welders alike, packing as much or even slightly more power than similar welders in the 120-volt range.
The Lincoln 140 is a mainstay of many shops and home welders because it’s one of the more reliable welders on the market. It has enough features to make it stand out from basic welders, and you can upgrade fairly easily without having to learn how to operate the system all over again.
Lincoln 140C vs Lincoln 140HD
One drawback is that Lincoln’s 140 welders can confuse people who aren’t familiar with how Lincoln labels their products. There are two “main” products in the Lincoln 140 line are the “C” and “HD” models, which usually share a similar name and appearance.
The Lincoln 140HD in particular is sold under different model names when you buy it retail, like Weld-Pak, MIG-Pak, PRO MIG, and Easy-MIG. These model names all usually refer to the Lincoln 140HD.
The Lincoln 140C can be considered as the premium version of the 140HD and is sometimes marketed as a commercial-grade model. You’re more likely to find this welder with welding merchants and online stores, since it’s a little harder to supply.
Both models have the following features in common:
- Output: 30 to 140A
- Duty Cycle: (19.5V) 20% @ 90A
- Wire Speed Control: Infinite
- Wire Feed Speed: 50-500 ipm
On the surface, these models look and function the same. But if you’re still confused about what makes each one of them tick, then read on.
Choosing The Lincoln 140HD
The Lincoln 140HD is more beginner-friendly compared to the 140C, as it’s more user-friendly. It’s an excellent model for any hobbyist or artisan welder that needs simple welds in their work, since it uses an A-B-C-D voltage system to keep track of how much power you’re using with the outer ampere. It has a bulb voltage of 110 volts, so don’t expect any finely detailed welds when using this model.
In terms of handling, the 140HD has the edge over the 140C. Since it only weighs around 50 lbs, the machine is easier to lug around. With its gasless setup, it’s portable and safe enough that you can use it for quick welds without worrying too much about getting hurt – though of course, I always recommend that you keep your personal protective equipment on at all times when you’re welding!
The 140HD is an excellent all-around welder that you can use almost anywhere, with a fully adjustable drive system so your wires don’t tangle. You can use this with gasless flux-cored welding and gas-shielded MIG welds, though expect the lack of an easy-to-install spool gun system to make working with aluminum somewhat difficult.
Unfortunately, its efficiency can get in the 140HD’s way of welding thin materials, since the brass-to-brass gun connection conducts heat a little too well to work on thin sheets. It’s an excellent safety feature since it makes sure that your welds don’t go all over the place, but it absolutely ruins finer weld work.
Overall, my experience with using the Lincoln 140HD is pretty positive, considering that it can work on welds that normally demand higher voltages. It’s a superb choice for anyone who’s looking to improve their skill with welding and is particularly suited for working with metal frames. If you want a reliable MIG welder that won’t burn through your wallet, this is the one you should get.
Choosing The Lincoln 140C
As the premium version of the 140HD, the Lincoln C has a significantly expanded range of voltage control. You can use anywhere from A to J, which gives you a lot of freedom to adjust the outer ampere output depending on the metal you’re trying to weld. In the hands of an experienced welder, this model can tackle anything from heavy-duty welding projects to finely detailed work.
The 140C is on the heavier side of the Lincoln models at 58 lbs, so don’t expect to move this easily around your workplace unless you have a cart. It’s better suited for those long welding sessions where you don’t have to move your work around much. The additional weight is partly thanks to the enhanced torque in the drive motor.
One of the best reasons to get the Lincoln 140C has to be the Diamond Core Technology feature. This is an improvement to the already efficient arc welding you can find in the 140HD. By using variable inductance to make your arcs more stable, it can give you a better weld overall, especially if you’re doing work on thin sheets.
However, this comes with the drawback that the 140C doesn’t quite have the welding power required to work on thick materials. While I’ve used the MIG mode on materials like steel (stainless or otherwise) and aluminum, it doesn’t penetrate the layers of thicker steel. I’m not saying that you still can’t use the 140C on thicker sheets, but in my experience, it makes for weaker connections between the metal.
I’d recommend the Lincoln 140C to anyone who wants better control over their welds, since the Diamond Core and voltage control are some of the best options you can use to work with thinner sheets. This is a great tool to use if you want to make sure that your welds are visible on the outside since you can make great detail work without sacrificing the strength of the connection.
Knowing the small differences between welding machines isn’t just best practice, but the best way for any welder to improve their skills. Lincoln’s 140 series understands this dynamic well, making two models that can allow any welder to grasp the basics of the work while leaving them room to experiment and grow.
One thing that you should remember is that using these welders doesn’t guarantee better welds, and that there isn’t necessarily a “better” 140 model. On paper, it might seem like the 140C outperforms the 140HD with its features, but I’ve found that it falls flat with welding thicker metals. Always consider what you’re trying to work with when using any of these welders, since that’s the way to get better welds.
If you’re still not sure about the differences or need more advice on which model works best for you, there’s an entire online community out there of welders which you can ask for advice! I usually go to r/Welding to ask other welders about my equipment and to get inspired for my next welding projects.
In summation: if you want a reliable MIG welder, the Lincoln 140 is an excellent start. Once you figure out what you want to weld and how you want to do it, the rest will follow.