In this comparison, we are going to talk about two great welders. In fact, it’s going to be just like talking about two brothers. An older brother and a younger brother. Our “brothers” are the Hobart handler 140 and the Hobart handler 190. We are going to cover all the important information here so you will be able to make an informed buying choice.
Overview of Hobart handler 140 VS Hobart Handler 190:
- What user Hobart thought about when designing the Handler 140 and 190
- What key differences separate the 140 from the 190
- An upgrade you must do to either welder you purchase
- Key specifications for both models.
This is the first time someone asked me to review two welders from the same company… and let me tell you – I’m excited! “Why?” you might ask… and that’s a good question to have. Well, I really love Hobart as a company. They build an excellent product – and you don’t have to trust me 100% – I might feel a little sad for a second, but I’ll understand… just read this guys review.
But, it gets better.
Hobart welders come standard with one of the industries best warranties. I mean, just check out their 5/3/1 against anyone else. A good warranty tells you how much the company believes in their product. How can you beat that?
And that’s without looking “under the hood” so to speak. There are so many great features jam-packed into these welders I want to tell you all about it…[toc]
So, let’s get this show on the road…
Under the hood of the Hobart 140
First of all, let’s imagine we are walking into a car dealer. Let’s check out the window sticker before we talk about what all these features actually mean…
Straight out of the box the 140 has :
- Run’s on 115-volt power
- Can weld up to 24 gauge (¼ inch thick material)
- 20% duty cycle at 90 amps
- Stepped voltage (5 steps)
- Infinite wire control
- All Aluminum drive
- The machine weighs 57 pounds
Obviously, those are just facts you can get straight from Hobart’s website. So let’s interpret these facts and find out exactly what that means for the user.
With 115v you can plug this right into a standard outlet in your garage, and with a low duty cycle, this is by no means a professional welder. Even a semi-pro would find this welder hard to keep up with their workload.
Next, let’s break down some more of these features. The stepped voltage is pretty sweet. I recommend it over a digital readout – because, with the more “bells and whistles” the more things that can break. And you don’t have time for your welder to be in the shop.
The Aluminium drive is a great upgrade Hobart finally made. This means your wire will feed smoothly all of the time. It’s so frustrating when your wire kinks and you have to disassemble everything!
Hobart also upgraded the 140 & 190’s grounding clamp. Sadly, it wasn’t much of an upgrade. I still recommend a good upgraded clamp for your machine.
Infinite wire control is a love-hate relationship with me. For a new user, it tends to take away from the basics and can confuse them. So keep that in mind. For an experienced welder, infinite control is awesome. You can dial in the machine based on wire thickness and you are laying some sweet beads in no time.
What’s the bottom line on the 140? It’s a solid machine with limited power. Hobart designed the 140 for the brand new welder or infrequent user. It’s a great welder for a beginner but will fall short if you intend to handle the workload of a semi-pro or professional.
Under the hood of the handler 190
Since we jumped into the specifications of the 140 right away it’s only fair we do the same on the 190.
When you open the box of the 190 you’ll find :
- Uses 230-volt power
- Welds up to 24 gauge (5/16 thick material)
- 30% duty cycle @ 130 amps
- Stepped voltage (7 steps)
- Infinite wire control
- All aluminum drive
- Spool gun
- Machine weights 79 lbs
Now we are stepping into my world: professional fabrication territory. How’s that? I’m glad you asked. Once you start increasing the voltage to 230 volts your out of the garage and into a fab shop.
Back to what I was saying … the infinite wire control is perfect for a pro, and the additional settings on the stepped voltage help me increase the bead width. Remember, the faster your wire speed, the more powered needed to burn that wire, resulting in a flatter, flatter bead.
But wait, there’s more…
Yes, the machine does weigh a bit more but if your a pro that’s definitely manageable. The nice feature is that the 190 is spool gun ready. The means the optional spool gun is a great way to weld aluminum and make some extra cash.
What’s the bottom line on the 190: This is a great machine for the pro or the semi-pro. It’s light enough to be portable but also stout enough to work on many projects that would happen in a fabrication shop.
A beginner wouldn’t even be able to plug this bad boy in using home power. Unless they had a 220 line specifically run in their home for the welder. A pro would use this as a great second welder or backup welder- the low duty cycle would probably be an issue and you would need to upgrade eventually. Hobart designed this machine for the semi-pro or extreme DIY’er, and not the fresh-eyed newbie.
If you need to run a 220 power line for your welder
As a welder I love both of these machines, but for different reasons. The 140 is a great machine for the beginner welder or the welder who occasionally uses the machine on weekends.
The 190 is a much better machine if you want options. The 190 gives you options to weld aluminum, and to weld thicker material.
As a pro, I am biased and would buy the 190 – only because I have the power in my shop to handle that. If your home is already set up for 220 – go with the 190 if you have some welding experience. The 190 will definitely grow with you. A machine that is excellent if you have 115 at home but want to option to switch to 220 is the Hobart 210 MVP. If you’re looking for a review of the 140 on its own, read this