I love to weld.
All kinds of stuff.
Steel, Aluminum, stainless…
Sometimes brass if I feel really good
And I love my all of my tools
Using them on job sites
I especially like my Big yellow welder.
Well, that’s my nickname for it
I really hate big blue
And that’s funny because big blue and Hobart are made by the same
My buddy told me that over some beers
And I thought he was pulling my leg
Then I did a google search
And since it’s on the internet it must be true!
But here’s the funny thing
I still hate blue and like my Hobart.
And I have some specific reasons
So let’s take a closer look
I had a Hobart 230 in my shop a long time ago
Until an I-beam took a nose dive and ended its life…
I know, sad day for sure
But, the good thing about being a professional welder is..
I know other welders
And my buddy has a 230 in his shop, which, I got to play with this weekend
And there is so much to love about this Welder
First off, In this review you’ll learn:
- Why this is a professional grade welder
- The pro’s and con’s of the Hobart Ironman 230
- Some things I would do to Improve it.
STOP!!!…..Collaborate and listen!
I still like Vanilla Ice.
You should too.
I mean, I sometimes get tired of all the Rock we play in the shop
If your a newbie or just starting to weld
THIS is not for you.
And that’s ok.
I really think the best way to go for a new welder is..
Get the cheapest welder you can
And start learning the process
You will suck hard.
But that’s ok
Maybe welding is not for you.
And you’ll save a ton of money.
Videos Reviews About The Hobart 230
If you love it
Then you’ll have extra cash for welding gear
Like a jacket
And some gloves.
And once you get better, you can upgrade.
But why buy the best right out of the gate?
And there isn’t anything wrong with buying the best.
Hell, I secretly wish I had some gold bars laying around when I started
And could buy something fancy.
Or weld them together…
But, I digress
The 230 is a professional machine.
No doubt about it.
- 250 amps max. Let’s get that penetration
- A real paper manual. Great to have in the shop
- Can drop a ½” weld in a single pass. OH!! I LOVE YOU.
- Twelve different AMP settings. Let’s find that sweet spot.
- Dual rolls. Yes!!
- Can handle a large spool – up to 44 lbs.
And if that doesn’t make a professional machine – I don’t know what does.
Like all machines,
There are however some drawbacks
That’s why I’m secretly designing the best welder ever
I’m going to take over the welding world…
Ok, maybe not
but a man can dream, right?
And here’s the rub
- No aluminum gun included
- Short 6-foot power cord
- Grounding clamp contacts are not brass on both sides
- Some components inside are cheap – read about it
- Not portable – it’s over 200 lbs!
- You might get divorced if you spend 2k on a welder
Every machine is going to have some downsides
And that’s ok
Sometimes they can be fixed
With this Hobart, you can throw the silly ground clamp they give you in the dump buy another one.
And rewire it with a longer power cord
I’d be careful with that
Only because you can void your warranty
Hobart has a nice 5/3/1 warranty
And I think it’s one of the best in the industry
But they tend to get a little crazy when you tinker with your machine.
Besides, in my buddies shop the machine lives in a corner
And never moves.
Unless he rents it out.
Which is another pro to this machine
He sometimes rent it to smaller shops when they need to weld thicker gauge stuff
And that works well, why not make $100 a day when you’re not using it?
By now you’ve probably realized
The Hobart 210 is awesome for the professional fabricator
The welds I drop are great
And the machine really shines
It has 12 amp settings – so I can really find the sweet spot
And that helps me find a good arc-reducing spatter.
And no one likes spatter
Because that costs me time and money to clean up
And I’m lazy
I don’t want to grind!
I want to weld.
And this machine helps me do that.
Fabricate all day.
I also like the manual knobs on the machine.
A lot of guys like the digital readouts for AMPs and Volts
And I think they are great
Those nice bells and whistles can fail
And they do.
And then your welder is done.
So why go with the fancy stuff?
A knob can fall off…
And then you pop it right back on
And keep welding
It’s great in any fabricator’s shop.
It can weld up to 1” thick metal
And that is awesome!
It can handle up to a 44 lb roll of wire
And has dual rollers for another wire gauge for easy switchover
If you buy a good aluminum gun
You have more option to weld
I wish they included one for the price, but they don’t.
This is not a DIY’ers machine or even a pro who needs a portable machine.
A good DIY’er machine I’ve heard some positive things about
And a good portable semi-pro machine would be this
And if your brand spanking new, buy formey 290 welder
Hobart Ironman 230 VS Lincoln Power MIG 216
Sometimes I get into a debate about welders
I don’t always know the answer
I know – it’s hard to believe.
Even I haven’t used every welding machine made.
I love it when I don’t have all the answers.
Well, I have an excuse to make new welding friends, who do have the experience.
And have used a machine or two that I want to learn about.
So let’s talk about two great machines today:
I already talked about the Ironman 230
And it’s a great machine
And the Lincoln 216, I’ve heard it awesome.
I’ve never actually used it.
So I talked to several buddies (and some new friends)
And have the scoop
- Who would like the Lincoln best and who would like the Hobart best
- Pro’s and Con’s of each machine
- Common questions about each machine
When I am not familiar with a new welding machine I like to make it simple
I’m going to break down this comparison into small sections
It’s easy for you to decide which machine you like best
Both machines are heavy.
The Lincoln is the heaviest
It weighs in at 250lbs
And the Hobart
Almost 75lbs lighter
Coming in at 187 lbs.
From my research, the Lincoln has more metal parts on the casing
Making the machine heavier overall
The weight on these guys does not matter.
These are professional machines for a fabrication shop.
I promise they are not going to move much,
If it’s a portable welder that you want,
This would be a good portable MIG
Voltage, Duty Cycle, and AMPs
Both machines are very similar in their specifications.
On paper that is.
Lincoln Power MIG 216
- 30 – 250 AMPS
- Stepped voltage, 7 taps
- Diamond core technology – more forgiving arc
- 60% DC @ 170 AMPS
Whereas the Hobart
- 30-250 AMPS
- Stepped Voltage 12 taps
- Short, strong arc
- 60% DC @ 175 AMPS
So let’s unpack this specification a bit
Just a quick glance
Might fool you
Into thinking that both machines are similar
And they are
But with one key difference
The volts and thus the arc
I know all this talk about volts and arc and amps can be confusing –
Try not to let your brain explode
There is a good breakdown.
Arc = Volts
AMPS = Heat
So with both of these machines, you have the same “heat”
That the Hobart has 12 taps
And the Lincoln
I bet you already see where I’m going
The Hobart has more voltage taps
And a strong short arc
The Hobart is going to give you way more control
On thinner metal
Like auto body
Because you can set your voltage very low
That’s where the Hobart shines.
Now Lincoln has set taps
But that means…
Each step will have a wider range
It is more forgiving
It’s easier to find the “sweet spot”
And that’s great
For a fabrication shop
Or a newer welder.
Warranty and service
So the Hobart has a great warranty, it’s their 5/3/1 warranty.
When you compare that against Lincoln’s 3-year warranty –
I think you see the clear winner.
I’ve heard Lincoln will still help you
Even when your welder is out of warranty
But that’s just the word on the street.
We have a tie here!
Both machines come with 15 ft MIG guns
Both machines can handle aluminium
Just buy a gun
Both have terrible ground clamps
So upgrade with a solid bronze one
And both have 10 ft power cords.
Inside the beast
Both machines are a tie here too
Both have cast aluminium drives
With dual grooves
To handle larger wire
Like flux core
And both can handle larger spools
Like the 44lb spool for the shop.
And don’t forget
The Hobart uses the same drive as the MIller
Well, they are the same company.
The Miller makes a good drive…
They are known to last
I mean forever really.
Common Questions about the Lincoln and the Hobart
Question: Can the Lincoln handle flux core welding?
Answer: Yes. The larger groove on the roller Is for the flux core wire. No gas is needed.
Question: Are there Digital readouts on the Hobart 230?
Answer: No. and that’s a good thing. The digital readouts can burn out, and replacements can be expensive.
Question: Can I weld aluminium with the Lincoln 216?
Answer: Yes, but you need to purchase the spool gun.
Now I usually don’t care about price.
Because every machine is going to have a strength
And a weakness
And I want the best machine for the job.
A new Lincoln power MIG 216 will run you about $2000.
And that means
You have to do a couple of jobs to earn that kinda money.
The Hobart isn’t cheap either.
It’s about $1500 bucks.
If you just shopping on price alone!
The Hobart wins.
So I would buy the Hobart
Don’t shop on price.
Welders are not socks.
And make sure you read about some good ear protection.
It’s super important in the fab shop.
Both welders are great.
Both have good warranties,
Good amp range
But different Volt ranges.
And that makes the difference.
If you are doing a lot of welding with thin gauge material
Use the cash you saved for a nice cordless grinder
If you need to dial in your welder in mid to high range
The Lincoln with its 7 taps is the way to go.
You’ll get that more forgiving arc
vs the shorter lower voltage arc that can be done in the Hobart
And the Lincoln will shine in the fabrication shop.