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Hobart Ironman 230 Product Review

Hobart Ironman 230

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

And figuring out which is best

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

company !!

I know.

My buddy told me that over some beers

And I thought he was pulling my leg

Then I did a google search

And BAM!

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!

 

Really.

I still like Vanilla Ice.

You should too.

I mean, I sometimes get tired of all the Rock we play in the shop

Anyway

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

A hood

Snips

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.

Pro’s

  • 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

And

I’m going to take over the welding world…

Ok, maybe not

but a man can dream, right?

 

And here’s the rub

 

Con’s

  • 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

And buy this one

And rewire it with a longer power cord

BUT

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?

 Hobart IronMan 230 Testimonials

I know from experience that Hobart makes top quality products. I’ve had this machines for about one year and a half. I use it everyday and it never lets me down. It’s dependable, well made but definitely not portable.
Click here to see the original testimonial from

I really love this machine. I weld all types of items on a hobby level and this machine is great. Then I turned pro and got my own fab shop. I still love it. My only complaint is that friends and family want to visit just to use my Hobart. The duty cycle is awesome – she just welds until I let off the trigger.
Click here to see the original testimonial from

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 here

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

BUT

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

Problem solved.

 

Conclusion

The Hobart Ironman 230 is a professional machine

It’s great in any fabricators shop.

It can weld up to 1” thick metal

And that 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 this guy

Hobart Ironman 230 VS Lincoln Power MIG 216

Ironman 230 VS Lincoln Power MIG 216

 

Sometimes I get into a debate about weldersdont have all the answers about welding

And

I don’t always know the answer

I know – it’s hard to believe.

But

It’s true

Even I haven’t used every welding machine made.

And

I love it when I don’t have all the answers.

Why?

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:

The Lincoln power MIG 216 and the Hobart Ironman 230.

Now,

I already talked about the Ironman 230

And it’s a great machine

And the Lincoln 216, I’ve heard it awesome.

But

I’ve never actually used it.

So I talked to several buddies (and some new friends)

And have the scoop

 

Quick Overview

  • 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

So

I’m going to break down this comparison into small sections

That way

It’s easy for you to decide which machine you like best

 

Weight

Both machines are heavy.

The Lincoln is the heaviest

It weighs in at 250lbs

And the Hobart

Heavy too

But

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

But really…

The weight on these guys does not matter.

Why?

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,

Then

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

Because

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 –

So

Try not to let your brain explode

There is a good breakdown here

Basically

Arc = Volts

And

AMPS = Heat

So with both of these machines, you have the same “heat”

But notice

That the Hobart has 12 taps

And the Lincoln

7 taps.

I bet you already see where I’m going

The Hobart has more voltage taps

And a strong short arc

So

The Hobart is going to give you way more control

On thinner metal

Like auto body

Or light gauge metals

Because you can set your voltage very low

That’s where the Hobart shines.

Now the Lincoln has set taps

But that means…

Each step will have a wider range

Thus

It is more forgiving

So

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.

But

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.

 

Accessories

We have a tie here!

Both machines come with 15 ft MIG guns

Both machines can handle aluminum

Just buy a gun like this or this

Both have terrible ground clamps

So upgrade with a solid bronze one

Like this one here

And both have 10 ft power cords.

 

Inside the beast

Both machines are a tie here too

Both have cast aluminum 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

Because

Well, they are the same company.

And

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 needed.

 

Question: Are their Digital readouts on the Hobart 230?

Answer: No. and that’s a good thing. The digital readouts can burnout, and replacements can be expensive.

 

Question: Can I weld aluminum with the Lincoln 216?

Answer: Yes, but you need to purchase the spool gun.

 

 

Price

Now I usually don’t care about price.welders are not socks

Really.

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.

So

If your just shopping on price alone!

The Hobart wins.

So I would buy the Hobart

But please….

Don’t shop on price.

Welders are not socks.

Even funny socks.

Oh

And make sure you read about some good ear protection.

It’s super important in the fab shop.

 

Conclusion

Both welders are great.

Both have good warranties,

Accessories,

Support

Good amp range

But different Volt ranges.

And that makes the difference.

If you are doing a lot of welding with thin gauge material

Go for the Lincoln or the Hobart all the way.

Use the cash you saved for a nice cordless grinder

Now

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.

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