Hobart Handler 130 Product Review

  • By: Monica Shulz

There are good welding machines.Hobart Handler 130

There are Bad welding machines.

And terrible “ you couldn’t give me that for free” machines

And then there are those in between machines
Stop right there…

You’re telling me that a machine can be both?

Good and bad?


Well, sort of.

Let me explain myself so we are clear.

It really depends on WHAT you’re using your welder for.

If you’re opening a new automobile factory …

Then you need robots, welding robots

and a lot of them. [toc]

But we are not here to talk about robots,

So let’s jump in..

My buddy just bought this welder, the Hobart handler 130.

I wanted to throw it off a bridge

but that’s because I’m a professional welder.

I use the ESAB exclusively… so I’m pretty biased.

Actually really biased. If it’s not yellow I hate it already.

So, I had to look really hard at this welder to find the good in it.

Let’s start with the good and the bad in the Hobart Handler 130

Hobart Handler 130 Testimonial

After a long break, I wanted to teach my sons welding. This is the perfect welder to do it – I am really happy with this Hobart
Click here to see the original testimonial from Magsdad

I had issues with the drive assembly. It was broken and I mailed it back after I took apart the MIG gun to troubleshoot. Hobart was slow with replacement so I sent it back for a refund.
Click here to see the original testimonial from Kgeo




  • American designed ( always a +)
  • Excellent customer service via phone
  • EZ mode for single knob adjustment
  • 115v household compatible. Just plug it in and go.
  • Hobart’s 5-year warranty



  • EZ mode for single knob adjustment
  • Heavy @ 51 pounds.
  • Low amps 85 @ 20% duty cycle.
  • No gas regulator included.




I know you think I lost my mind because I listed the EZ mode as both a pro and a con.

This feature is why I love and hate this heavy boulder of a welder.

Think of it this way :

When you’re learning the to weld what’s super frustrating?

Thinking about it…..

Take all the time you need…

Ok, time’s up

WELDING is super frustrating until it’s not.


In the beginning, you have to learn so much

How to see through the little glass in the hood

Where the heck is that green dot?

OMG!!! I’m welding the clamp on my workpiece?!?

This definitely doesn’t sound like bacon…

And on and on…

So not messing with the too many settings is a good thing

You can really focus on HOW to weld

You simply set the knob for the flux core wire thickness


Your welding.

But that setting led me to look at more of the features

And the welder is definitely underpowered for a pro

Or even if your welding thick steel.

Even though this guy doesn’t think so.

If you convert it to wire and gas setup you may get frustrated

And forget to clip your wire while messing with the EZ knob…

That reminds me… I tried these snips.

They are awesome.

Buy a pair.

You’ll thank me when you’re not trying to snip your Tip 17 ½ times.

But, I see the EZ knob as not something a pro would use.

Alright – Enough with the EZ knob.

But remember this too:

It’s heavy!. You’re not going to easily move this welder around.

And if your using flux to weld small projects

Well, hit the gym now.

Just keep in mind a good entry level welder should be:

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Portable

Ok, I know what your thinking:


Let’s talk about penetration.


Let’s focus on WELDING here ok?

It’s Simple, the more amps you get the more penetration you have…


And that means you can handle bigger projects with heavier gauge metals


If you want to do small tasks around the house

Or little repairs in your garage then this welder can handle that

Just make sure to buy a gauge if you want to use gas

They don’t include one.

So I like this welder for a few reasons

If you’re new to welding and want to focus on learning

I mean actually dropping beads

Then this is a good welder to start with

And remember my buddy?

The one who bought this welder, to begin with

Yeah- you guessed it. He is new to welding

(and didn’t ask me what to buy – what a friend!)


It’s more expensive than a lot of good entry level welders

(and that’s how I see this Hobart 130 – entry level)

But I can see the added cost worth it

If you want great customer service to back you up.

But a good cheap welder right out of the box

Will definitely get the job done.

And the money you save?

You can buy welding gear!

Like an amazing helmet

But If you are a semi-pro welder…

Or just have a lot of projects…

Then I think you are better with something more powerful.


If you must buy this one –

And you are going to weld indoors

Read this article about air cleaners

The smoke can build up from flux pretty quick

Oh- And if you are going to use a spool larger than 8”

Or smaller than 2”

You need an adaptor good one



I love this welder and I hate it.

If you’re new to welding I would buy a cheaper one so you have more cash for welding gear. Like this Goplus.

I know, I hear your groans already.

But you’ll outgrow Hobart Handler 130 quickly, so why not buy a cheap welder and save the cash?

You should check out what the difference is between Hobart 130 vs 140

And remember, I said a good beginners welder should be




But, if you like the idea of excellent customer service, an American engineered machine, and a 5-year warranty than by all means this is for you.

But really…

If you’re spending all this money on the 130, I would just go for the Everlast

You’ll spend a bit more now

But this welder will handle so much more MIG work

And grow with you as your projects get larger.