The Eastwood Elite MP140i is an inexpensive multi-process welder that competes with high-end brands. But, it offers incredible value compared to other welders in this price bracket, like the Forney Easy Weld 140MP.
It combines outstanding performance, great features, and low cost, making it an excellent budget multi-process unit. In this article, you will learn about its pros and cons. But, we will also see how it stacks up against its much more expensive ESAB competitor (you’ll be surprised!).
|Output Current Type||DC|
|Amperage Output||MIG: 30-140A|
|Duty Cycle||30% at 90A|
|Weldable Materials||Mild steel, stainless steel, aluminum|
|Weldable Mild Steel Thickness (Single-pass)||Up to 3/16 in.|
|Accepted MIG Wire Sizes||.023″ /.035″ Steel wire.030″ /.035″ Flux-core wire.030″ /.035″ Aluminum wire|
|Price||Best Price Here|
- Performance: 4.5/5
Offering a smooth, stable arc similar to Hobart’s, the MP140i provides superior performance in its price range. Only the high-end brands like Miller and ESAB, which require a hefty investment, deliver a slightly better arc.
- Power: 3.5/5
While Eastwood Elite MP140i provides plenty of MIG welding power, it falls short as a TIG and stick welder with limits of 90A and 70A, respectively. It’s suitable for light welding, but many competing brands provide higher current outputs for TIG and stick.
- Features: 4.5/5
With two digital displays, infinitely adjustable wire feed speeds and voltage outputs, spot timer, and standardized DINSE plug support, the MP140i offers more features than most similarly priced machines. I only wish they included some settings for TIG as well.
- Portability: 5/5
The MP140i weighs 34 lbs., which is surprising considering the build quality and slightly higher duty cycle than many competitors. The low weight combined with the compact design and an ergonomic, integrated handle allows easy transportation and portability.
- Price: 5/5
Considering the build and arc quality, the included features, and the latest IGBT inverter technology, this unit offers an excellent price-to-quality ratio that is hard to beat.
- Manufacturer Support: 5/5
Eastwood has been around for more than 40 years as a USA-based company and is known for its friendly customer support. Plus, they offer an industry-leading 3-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee delivering peace of mind to their customers.
- Affordable entry-level unit
- Great price-to-quality ratio
- High-quality build
- Smooth and stable arc
- Integrated spot timer for consistent tack welding results
- Two digital displays
- Infinite adjustability for voltage and wire feed speed
- Lightweight and portable
- Includes professional-grade Trafimet Ergoplus 15 Tweco style MIG gun, WP17 style TIG torch, and stick electrode holder
- Cast aluminum wire feed system
- A quick set-up chart inside the unit
- Native spool gun support
- Works with a 20A breaker
- 10-foot-long leads
- Numerous accessories included
- Simple to use
- USA brand
- 3-Year warranty
- Duty cycle on the low end
- No foot pedal support for TIG welding
- Limited power output for TIG and stick
Overall Verdict: 4/5
The Eastwood Elite MP140i is a well-rounded, affordable package. Its most significant downside is the lower output for TIG and stick compared to MIG, but the included features and build quality make up for it. It offers excellent value for the money if you are not a power user.
Where to buy: The only other store Eastwood sells this welder on is Amazon, however, it is more expensive. They save the best deals on their own site. So get you’ll get the best price on Eastwood.
What To Know Before Buying The Eastwood Elite MP140i
The MP140i has some issues you should know before picking one up. Eastwood could not possibly include “everything” in such an affordable package. So, to help you decide if this welder is right for you, let’s have a quick look at the shortcomings.
Not the Best Duty Cycle
While the MP140i has a better duty cycle than some more expensive machines, you should still be aware of its limits. This welder puts out 90A for 3 minutes, and then it must cool down for 7 minutes. That is sufficient for hobbyists and light welding applications.
However, if your work requires high-volume welding, this welder will not meet your needs. Keep in mind that it’s challenging to provide everything at a low cost with most high-quality brands like Eastwood, Hobart, Miller, and ESAB. Eastwood’s quality falls short of these big brand names, but it’s very close. So, I suspect they used an appropriate duty cycle to stay competitive price-wise.
No TIG Foot Pedal Support
The MP140i doesn’t support a TIG pedal for fine amperage control. This omission is not a con because many competing models also miss this important feature. Still, it’s something to keep in mind. So, if your work requires a TIG foot control, look elsewhere.
Limited Output For Stick And TIG
The provided 140A for MIG welding is impressive for a 120V input machine. But the MP140i puts out less power when welding with the TIG or stick welding processes. The 90A of welding current for TIG handles up to 1/8 in. thick mild steel, and the 70A for stick limits it to 1/4 in. thicknesses.
While this is considered a con, it does keep the unit more affordable. The MIG welding process uses a constant voltage (“CV”) power source, while TIG and stick use a constant current (“CC”). So, I assume they cut costs on the CC side and focused more on the MIG process required for most light welding. Since Eastwood designed this welder for sheet metal and light gauge, the ability to TIG weld up to 1/8 in. is nice to have, especially at a low cost.
But, if you need more power than that, maybe its bigger brother, the Eastwood MP200i, is a better choice.
How The Eastwood Elite MP140i Stacks Up
Lincoln Electric, Hobart, and Miller offer multi-process welders with amperage outputs of 200A or higher. So, there aren’t many options for an entry-level machine unless you turn to less reliable import brands.
However, ESAB’s Fabricator 141i remains a viable alternative. It’s portable, powerful, and supports multiple useful features. But, the Eastwood Elite MP140i costs 50% less and provides a very similar weld and build quality, a 3-year warranty, and a higher duty cycle.
The ESAB’s model is a better choice if you can afford it. It doesn’t throttle the TIG welding process output and includes features like 2T/4T, inductance control, arc force, and downslope adjustability. However, it does throttle stick welding output to 90A and overall has a lower duty cycle than the Eastwood MP140i.
While the ESAB’s features impress, they are significantly more expensive and don’t make for the value choice. Unless you are a welding professional who requires the ESAB advanced settings, the Eastwood MP140i is better. A lower price, coupled with the same essentials found in the ESAB welder, makes the Eastwood MP140i a budget alternative you should consider.
In my opinion, all of those extra features the high-end brands offer are welcomed if available on a budget-friendly welder. But most users won’t use inductance control, for example. So, while useful, I don’t think it justifies a 50% higher cost. Still, a professional who demands the best quality welds needs every bit of adjustability, and they may be willing to pay more for it.
|Feature / Welder||Eastwood Elite MP140i||ESAB Fabricator 141i|
|Amperage Output||MIG: 30-140A|
|MIG: max. 140A|
TIG: max. 140A
Stick: max. 90A
|Duty Cycle||30% at 90A||MIG: 20% at 90A|
TIG: 15% at 140A
Stick: 15% at 90A
|TIG Foot Pedal Support||❌||✅|
|Arc Force Control||❌||✅|
|Spot Weld Timer||✅||❌|
|Weight||34 lbs.||32.2 lbs.|
|Price||$570 – $620|
Best Price Here
|$980 – $1100|
Best Price Here
Best Features of the Eastwood Elite MP140i
Even if Eastwood priced the MP140i as an entry-level welder, it competes well with higher-end brands like ESAB. While it has some shortcomings, it also has multiple features to make your job easier. So, let’s take a look at the most notable highlights of MP140i.
Thanks to the latest IGBT inverter technology, the Eastwood MP140i provides a smooth, stable arc. This is especially important for rookies because it’s best to learn on a quality machine. Many inexpensive machines provide erratic arcs, especially MIG welders, which develop bad habits.
Welding techniques and hand coordination learned with poor arc quality require you to re-learn them when you start welding with a better welder. So, it’s never a good idea to settle for a machine with a poor arc.
Digital Displays And Infinite Adjustability
The Eastwood MP140i provides two digital displays, while most multi-process welders in its price range provide none. Take the Forney Easy Weld 140, for example. It doesn’t have any displays or advanced features, and it’s pricier than the Eastwood model.
The digital displays and infinitely adjustable knobs for voltage and wire feed control let you fine-tune your welds like a pro. Even if you are a beginner, you can take a piece of scrap metal and try a dozen different beads with different voltage and wire feeding configurations until you nail the settings needed for the desired weld quality.
Ultimately, digital controls take the guesswork out of the equation, allowing you to make precise adjustments for your welds. The digital displays are one of the most prominent features separating the MP140i from the alternatives.
Spot Weld Timer
Most Eastwood welders have a spot/tack weld timer function rarely found with other brands. It lets you lay consistent tack welds regardless of how long you press the MIG torch trigger. After you set the spot weld timer in seconds, pressing the torch trigger will keep the arc lit for the specified time.
This feature is handy with sheet metal and car autobody work. For example, modified car fenders greatly benefit from consistent tack welds along the seam line. Since Eastwood is an automotive parts/tools brand, it makes sense that their welders often feature this function.
Ease Of Use
The Eastwood Elite MP140i is a very intuitive machine. You can quickly start welding without even reading the instruction manual. But that is always recommended. All Eastwood welders include fantastic manuals, rivaling the level of detail found in ESAB manuals known for their comprehensiveness.
The unit’s front panel contains three infinitely adjustable knobs for voltage, amperage/wire feed speed, and spot timer control. Above these are two digital displays and two switches. The switches let you change which welding process is active and turn on/off the spot timer function.
If we go back to the ESAB Fabricator 141i example, it’s easy to notice that EASB paid less attention to the ease of use. The ESAB unit requires you to open the side doors to access multiple buttons to adjust various features, like activating a spool gun welding mode.
One of their strongest assets, Eastwood welders provide solid build quality, almost on par with Hobart, for example. The MP140i has a sturdy sheet metal housing coupled with resilient plastics on the front. Compare the plastics with ESAB’s Fabricator 141i, and you’ll see that the difference is only in the design. Both manufacturers make well-built welders.
The Eastwood unit also features a cast aluminum wire drive system with brass to MIG gun connection for improved electrical contact and a more stable arc. The same system is found in ESAB’s Fabricator 141i and many welders priced in the “middle-of-the-pack.”
The included Trafimet Ergoplus 15 MIG torch is designed for professional welding. It’s durable and rated for a minimum of 60% duty cycle at 150A. So, unlike many inexpensive welders, the provided torch can sustain the amperage output of the machine.
The 17-style TIG torch is also well-made and wrapped for additional protection. The MIG and TIG torch leads are 10 feet long, while the stick electrode holder is 12.5 feet. Again, compare that to something like Forney Easy Weld, which costs more but provides basic torches with 8 feet leads, and you’ll see that the Eastwood is a real bargain.
- Eastwood Elite MP140i
- Trafimet ERGOPLUS 15, Tweeco Style MIG Torch, 10 feet
- 17-Style TIG torch, 10 feet with a 14 feet gas line
- Stick electrode holder, 12.5 feet
- Ground clamp, 10 feet
- Shielding gas regulator
- Gas hose, 4.6 feet
- Spare contact tips, 0.023 in.
- Gas nozzles number #4, #5, #6
- Short and long back cap for TIG torch
- Collet body, 1/8 in.
- 1mm, 1.6mm, 2mm Collets
- 1/16 in. x 6 in. Gray tungsten
- 2lb spool of 0.023 in. solid MIG wire
- E6013 welding electrodes
The Eastwood Elite MP140i is an excellent multi-process welder if you are on a budget. Thanks to a small learning curve and numerous included features, it’s great for beginners. The digital displays are valuable for rookies to understand the settings better. In addition, the infinite adjustability allows fine-tuning your arc, resulting in better beads.
Considering its low price and build/arc quality, the low duty cycle and reduced amperage output for TIG and stick are understandable. Finding a budget-priced, multi-process welder that ticks all the boxes is challenging. So, if you only plan on welding thin gauge up to 3/16 in., you should definitely consider the MP140i.