It’s your money, so you want to make the best choice for your hard earned dollars.
And I used to think that Miller made the best MIG welders for your dollar, but then one day I came across a used Hobart 140 and everything changed.
Well, I found an American assembled welder that could handle most of the big jobs my shop could throw at it….
I’m talking ¼ steel plates with a 3/16 root opening – yes we set it up for gas were using a nice mix of co2 and argon- and the welds laid down were smooth and solid. The Hobart performed beautifully…
But let’s jump into the review – We’ll revisit my experience in a bit.
First I want to ask
Are you more of a DIY occasional welder or are you more of a professional welder that needs a sturdy machine for daily use?
This is important because the Millers, Lincolns, and Esabs are great machines to use, and every machine has it’s good points and bad points.
But The Hobart 140 MIG strikes a good balance for the occasional welder who does a lot of home projects but may also need a welder to do medium duty repairs like on a tractor or heavier construction equipment. I found it to be great in the shop against our “ big blue” Miller as well.
Table of Contents
If you need a welder for stronger, more industrial purposes like working in a heavy duty fabrication shop or for heavy equipment repair then a stronger welder would be more appropriate like the bigger brother to the Hobart 140, the Hobart 190.
It’s easy to get caught up just shopping by price alone. But getting the welder that provides the best value for your money sometimes means that price alone will not be your best bet.
And getting the most value for your money means you’ll save more money over the long run than just buying the cheapest option, and isn’t that what you want?
Hobart 140 Video review
The Hobart Handler 140 mig welder has some great features that set it apart from other common welders like Miller and Lincoln. When I got my used Hobart 140 great feature
I found is the longer grounding clam and MIG gun cord.
At 10 feet you’ll have that little extra room to weld projects in tight spaces without repositioning your machine.
I still had to move my workpiece around on the table as I was fabricating, but not as much.
And you know what it’s like to flip, shimmy and maneuver a big old chunk of steel. Not Fun!!
The extra few feet of cord was nice – it helped me tack down my workpiece and saved me a few steps.
Hobart is also known for their great warranty and customer support over the phone. The new Hobart welder comes standard with a 5-year warranty on most parts and a one year warranty on the gun itself. Most other guys only give you a 90-day warranty on the machine, and then there could be costly repairs once that warranty is over.
Also, there is a metal drive inside the Hobart 140 that feeds your wire through the gun to your workpiece. This durable metal drive ensures there no wire feeding issues that can be commonly found with plastic driven machines. A smoother, reliable wire delivery means a better more consistent weld can be laid down.
Also, the Hobart runs off household electric (110 volts) and can produce up to 140 amps max – so as I mentioned you’ll easily weld larger ¼ gauge steel that some of the smaller, cheaper welders cannot handle.
As mentioned, this machine might be a bit on the noisy side, so good hearing protection would be recommended for use with this welder. A good review of hearing protection available on the market can be found here – so check out the different type of ear protection before you purchase the Hobart.
Hobart 140 MIG Testimonials
Everything on the Hobart was top quality, fit, finish – an event the packaging was top notch. You can really tell the difference in the Hobart products when compared to other big brands like Miller. They feel sturdier and better constructed overall
Click here to read the original testimonial from Gary McNickle
I recently purchased a mechanics shop and the welders that were on site were just not doing their job. Now the Hobart is marketed toward the customer but I found this to really do great in the shop too – it’s sturdy and well built to handle a variety of jobs. We use the gas MIG setup and love it.
Click here to read the original testimonial from A Real Tech
I have a miller welder at work and this welder is just as good or better than the miller. The regulator that was shipped with the Hobart was broken, so I called Hobart and they shipped me a new one right away.
Click here to read the original testimonial from DOUG99999
This welder is an excellent choice for a beginner or occasional welder, but to weld heavier materials a welder with more power would be recommended, like the Hobart 190.
If you are only going to weld light steel and have limited use for a welder, then a good, highly reviewed, economical choice is the Lincoln electric welder.
The 140 mig welders welder is a good choice because the overall value (longer cords, phone support, 5-year warranty and quality parts) means the welder will last you through many years of service.
I found the longer cords to be really great in the shop. Mine sits on the welding cart and just gets wheeled around – so no issues with the extra weight of this bad boy.
Overall it’s a great machine – I reach for my Hobart before my Miller these days.
I’ve used a lot of welding machines in my career.
I’ve broken a lot of machines
I’ve abused them
I’ve pushed many to their limits.
And that’s not because I like to break things
I mean I do
I just want to know the limits of my machines
And the ugly
That way I know the best machine for the job
And when I have the best tools
I can really deliver for my customers
And that’s the name of the game.
Well, that’s how I see the world through my hood anyway
In this review, I’m going to discuss two similar welders
In this review you’ll learn:
Now we have the nuts and bolts out of the way
And you have the facts in front of you.
What does that tell you?
Well, for starters
Neither of these machines is professional machines.
In the least.
The maximum AMP out of the 140 is only 90!!
And that’s ok
If you’re a shade tree mechanic
Or you need something portable
If you say
Welding some backyard furniture for a client
A small repair.
Both machines have severely limited duty cycles
That knocks them out of the box for 90% of the stuff I fabricate.
I could see why they would be really useful.
One guy bought the welder to teach his son’s how to weld.
I think the 140 or the 130 is PERFECT for that.
Teaching a kid to weld or a beginner
This would make a great machine.
The build quality is solid…
And Hobart is known for making solid machines
And I like this review because the gentleman goes into detail on the build quality.
Keep in mind
You’re paying for top quality.
These machines will run you a few hundred bucks.
The warranty is worth mentioning here
Because as a beginners machine you are going to have questions
Sometimes you can’t just call me.
I’m always around for welding talk
Hobart is known for their great customer service
And that’s important
Because you’ll need someone to answer your questions
From simple to complete.
And you don’t get that service with the cheaper machines.
And if you have a problem
Hobart has you covered for up to 5 years.
I would say this:
I think the EZ mode knob gives the 130 a slight advantage…
When you are a fresh, never-touched-a-welder-ever newbie
You need all the help you can get
And the EZ knob gives you a little help
You don’t have to worry about the volts
And wire speed.
You simply turn the knob to the wire gauge your working with
Everything is automatically calibrated for you.
This is only for.30 flux core wire.
And as a newbie your probably not messing with gas yet.
It does help you focus on positioning
And actually welding.
Question: Do the 130 welders come ready to use with gas?
Answer: No you have to buy the hose and pressure Gauge separately but it does have the connection for it
Question: I want to get a 110v Mig welder How would this (the 140) be for a “Beginner” model?
Answer: There are a lot of beginner welders on the market. But beware, a lot of them use cheaper parts and have a cheaper build quality. The overall feel and performance will suffer. Ther Hobart might cost you more but you’re definitely getting a better quality machine and will feel the difference in the wire feed and the feel of the machine.
Question: What does the 140 come with?
Answer: The welder comes with everything you will need to get started. Except for the gas tank. This includes the flux core wire too. So you are ready to go, right out of the box.
Question: what does duty cycle mean?
Answer: Duty cycle means how long the welder can continuously provide an arc. It’s based off a 10-minute cycle. In other words, how long can you continuously weld for. So, with a duty cycle of 20% @ 90 AMPS that means when your welder is set to 90 AMPS you can weld for 2 minutes straight and then your welder must “rest” for 8 minutes.
The Hobart 130 and the 140 are very similar.
Like a longer cable (2 ft)
A slightly higher duty cycle
1 more voltage setting over the 130
But what you are really paying for with these machines is:
The build quality
The service and support.
And that makes either choice a good one for a beginner
A shade tree mechanic
Who welds light gauge material.
Or does light repairs.
Or fixes everything with a pipe wrench
But back to the welders…
Overall I recommend:
Buy it from Amazon, and you’ll be welding in 2 days.
And here’s why :
The extra voltage setting on the 140.
It can really make all the difference.
Why do you ask?
I’m glad you did.
As you get better welding you’re going to be using thicker materials…
And you’re going to need to dial in your welder
And adjust the arc for penetration
So one more setting will help you do just that.
In other words…
I would recommend a heavier duty machine IF
You have a small fab shop
Or want to start a small business
But in any case
Get some good gloves
And a jacket.
It’s been a few very interesting days in the life of this fabricator, let me tell you. In addition to getting a great deal on an ESAB rebel, I also built an awesome firepit in my yard for my wife. (read: having my welder friends over, sipping Scotch and enjoying some Cuban cigars.)
While I was building my firepit I had a few friends over and we started discussing welders. I mean, really, were we supposed to talk about Rachel Ray’s latest recipe?
So my welding buddies pit two welders against each other for a newbie and said to me:
That’s pretty interesting I thought to myself, So I share my thoughts with you in this comparison.
Why am I doing this for you guys?
Well, to be frank, I love welding… I mean people pay me to build really awesome things, and I couldn’t think of a better job to have. While building stuff, working in all types of fab shops and eventually building out my own business I learned a lot about every type of welder imaginable.
And right now is the best time to learn to weld!
Why? Well, that’s a great question to ask.
I’ll tell you. There are more great entry level welders than ever before. So you can pick up a great welder without breaking the bank.
However, they are a lot of sketchy welders out there too, like this one and this one. I want to help you avoid getting stung by a cheap welder and having it crap out on you in the first few months of welding. And with the money you save you can buy some great safety gear.
Enough about me – Let’s get busy with our welders.
I always think it’s helpful to see the specifications on our welders and then interpret the facts. So let’s jump in.
The Klutch 140SI
Now, the Kutch is manufactured and assembled abroad – last I checked they were produced in Italy. After reviewing the spec’s I read some reviews and wanted to dive a bit deeper.
I found out that the machine uses Tweco parts, which are expertly made by ESAB – and I love my yellow machine. So far we are looking pretty good as far as welders go…. Because as a beginner you need a reliable, simple to use machine.
And BAM and that where the Klutch starts to lose me a bit.
The machine does everything a beginner would need: plugs into home electric @ 115v ( be sure to have a 20 amp outlet), can weld together a decent thickness @ 3/16 and has everything you need to get welding out of the box.
But a true beginner doesn’t need a spot timer. I mean, that’s great if you want to run some longer beads or have some experience welding. A beginner doesn’t need a machine that’s spool gun ready either. A true beginner needs a super simple machine so they can build the confidence to actually lay down some beads.
The Hobart 140
Since we jumped into the spec’s for the Klutch let’s do the same for the Hobart.
Now let’s look bit deeper at the Hobart… It definitely doesn’t have as many features as the Klutch. The transformer in the Hobart makes it heavier @ 57 pounds compared to the Klutch at 38 lbs. It also runs off 115 volts just like the clutch ( and would be best off a dedicated 20 amp outlet). There is no spot timer in sight and you definitely cannot hook up a spool gun. And all of those features ( or lack thereof ) are a good thing.
Ok, I know what your thinking: ” the Klutch is a way better machine with more features, AND this welder has definitely inhaled too many fumes).
Stay with me here… I promise there is a method to my madness and I’ll explain everything …
If you remember many words ago, in the beginning, my buddy asked me about the Klutch and the Hobart and which welder would be best for a beginner.
Well, I would have to pick the Hobart hands down.
I know, I can hear your shouting right this second.
The go-to welder for a beginner
So, just let me explain. I’ve trained 100’s of welders. And here’s the strange thing. If I trained a welder on a complicated machine with more features- the student would take longer to learn. They want to know what this feature and this button does. And curiosity is great, but you know the saying … it also killed the cat.
I want you to get good. Fast.
The Hobart doesn’t have bells and whistles. So, you will stay focused on the welding. You’re not going to play around with the hot timer or start messing with the spool gun. It’s reliable with the transformer technology and it has a slightly better 5/3/1 warranty then the Klutch. It’s a great beginners welder that you can keep or sell because it will keep its value as a used machine.
The go-to welder for someone with experience.
Now, I think the Klutch is still a good value. In fact, I like it as a step up from a beginner’s welder. The features like the spot timer and the spool gun make it ideal for someone on a budget who has already learned MIG welding ( flux and gas) but want to learn other metals and the spool gun.
I do however have a love-hate relationship with inverter technology – it does lighten up the welder but I have had reliability issues in the past, unlike my transformer based units.
Also, the included accessories with the Klutch are poor. The gas regular is known to break pretty soon so I would upgrade if you planning to purchase this welder.
If you need a heavier duty welder, then check out this review here