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Hobart vs. Miller? What's the deal?

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  • Hobart vs. Miller? What's the deal?

    Is Hobart made by Miller or vice versa?

    So, what's the difference? Why would I want to buy the Hobart Stickmate vs. the Miller Thunderbolt?
    As Iron Sharpens Iron,
    So One Man Sharpens Another.

    Proverbs 27:17

  • #2
    They are both made by the same parent company, Illinois Tool Works. Most models are very different, as Miller is marketed toward industrial and Hobart mostly toward the DIY crowd.

    The low-end Millers are sometimes very similar to and sometimes identical to the Hobarts, though, as is the case with the Stickmate and Thunderbolt.

    Feel free to enjoy the Stickmate just as well as if you'd had the shiny blue one.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great! Thanks for the response.
      As Iron Sharpens Iron,
      So One Man Sharpens Another.

      Proverbs 27:17

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're interested in the backstory:

        As MAC said, ITW acquired Miller. In 1995, ITW also proposed to also acquire Hobart, which provoked an accusation from the Federal Trade Commission that they may violate anti-trust laws in regard to industrial welding power sources.

        ITW ended up entering a consent agreement with the FTC that required the company to divest all of Hobart’s assets and businesses relating to industrial power sources and industrial engine drives. Which is the reason that Hobart's market is now more consumer/hobbyist related, whereas they used to be exclusively industrial.

        In addition, under the settlement, ITW agreed not to market industrial power sources and industrial engine drives under the Hobart name for seven years. Of course, that period has since expired, but I guess ITW has decided to keep Hobart's market position instead of trying to revert to the industrial sector.

        You can read all about it here.
        Trailblazer 302 * Millermatic 212 * Syncrowave 180SD * X-Treme 12VS Feeder * Spoolmate 3035
        Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 52 Plasma * Lincoln 175 MIG

        Victor Superrange II * Victor Journeyman

        Hobart HH 125EZ


        Comment


        • #5
          So, what's the difference? Why would I want to buy the Hobart Stickmate vs. the Miller Thunderbolt?
          Basically... price... and some features. As MAC said, most of the smaller stuff is very close. Not sure about the differences between the Stickmate and the Thunderbolt. Sometimes it's just a matter of included accessories. But the Hobart wire feeders give you stepped voltage taps as opposed to the Millers' giving you fully adjustable voltage settings, and sometimes a better duty cycle. For a couple hundred dollars more on average. On the Champion 10000 vs. the Bobcat 225, you get CV welding capability, (which allows you to hook up any wire feeder), AC welding, (which opens up the world of aluminum tig), and a higher duty cycle. All for about $800 more.

          Also, some of the stuff that ITW did not get went to Thermal Arc and is still being made today. Although it is gradually getting phased out. So if you are looking for tech support, manuals, or parts for older Hobart stuff. It's a chinese phone drill on where to find what you are looking for. ---Mike---
          BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

          Hobart Champion 16
          Miller external secondary contactor
          stick foot pedal
          remote voltage control(homemade)
          Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
          Bernard Q350 mig gun
          Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
          Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
          Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
          Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
          Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
          Victor 450/300 series torches
          oodles of connecting cords

          I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

          Comment


          • #6
            I would like to see ITW do a Hobart version of the new Miller Wildcat. As long as they don't strip it down too much. ---Mike---

            http://www.millerwelds.com/products/rollout/Wildcat.php
            BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

            Hobart Champion 16
            Miller external secondary contactor
            stick foot pedal
            remote voltage control(homemade)
            Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
            Bernard Q350 mig gun
            Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
            Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
            Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
            Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
            Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
            Victor 450/300 series torches
            oodles of connecting cords

            I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

            Comment


            • #7
              What's left to strip off?

              Cool machine for a lot of guys. I use too many wire processes to want to live with it, but a lot of guys I know never use CV

              Comment


              • #8
                How about a Hobart version of the Diversion TIG!
                "Good Enough Never Is"

                Comment


                • #9
                  What's left to strip off?
                  ITW found a way to strip the Miller Bluestar and make the Champ 4500 for 2/3 to 1/2 the price. Pull off some of the sheet metal, analog hour meter only, smaller fuel tank, no electric start, manual idle instead of auto idle. Make it a 175 amp machine with 150 amps at 60% , rated for 3/8 steel, and paint it gray, all for around... say... $2500 retail, ($1900 at TSC). I think alot of people would be interested in it as a economical mid range welder between the champ 4500 and the 10000. Call it the Champion 6500. Just my .02c.
                  ---Mike---


                  BTW... Hey ITW! If you decide to market this, a small royalty would be greatly appreciated, like maybe a free one.
                  .
                  .
                  Last edited by mwoh419; 02-02-2009, 01:00 PM. Reason: added content
                  BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

                  Hobart Champion 16
                  Miller external secondary contactor
                  stick foot pedal
                  remote voltage control(homemade)
                  Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
                  Bernard Q350 mig gun
                  Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
                  Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
                  Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
                  Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
                  Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
                  Victor 450/300 series torches
                  oodles of connecting cords

                  I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    One other thing it would be nice to see Hobart do, since their stuff seems to be used more for home/ hobby use, is to add a propane/natural gas option to their gas drive welders. That way they are more readily usable as a home backup generator. Just another .02c. ---Mike---
                    BUY AMERICAN... THE JOB YOU SAVE MAY BE YOUR OWN!!!!!

                    Hobart Champion 16
                    Miller external secondary contactor
                    stick foot pedal
                    remote voltage control(homemade)
                    Hobart Portafeed 17(w AG-2000 control box)
                    Bernard Q350 mig gun
                    Hobart AG-2000 pull gun
                    Lincoln Hi-Freq k799(yes, I know it's red)
                    Weldcraft CS300 tig torch
                    Miller RFC-23A foot pedal
                    Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 50
                    Victor 450/300 series torches
                    oodles of connecting cords

                    I can fix it, just pay me to replace it first

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hobart vs miller

                      hobart is not half the welder as miller ,I OWNED both an you can not beat a miller mig ,miller are even better then a lincoln mig welder.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Billyjoe View Post
                        hobart is not half the welder as miller ,I OWNED both an you can not beat a miller mig ,miller are even better then a lincoln mig welder.
                        I am going to have to disagree. I've ran more than a couple modern Hobart units, over the past few years, that are as good or even better then several Miller units that I 've ran. The Miller units that I've ran consisting of the following: MM 175, MM 180, MM 185, MM 210, MM 250, and MM251.

                        My little Lincoln PM 180C is also as good or better then the above mentioned Miller units.

                        BTW, I own a couple Miller units.
                        MigMaster 250- Smooth arc with a good touch of softness to it. Good weld puddle wetout. Light spatter producer.
                        Ironman 230 - Soft arc with a touch of agressiveness to it. Very good weld puddle wet out. Light spatter producer.


                        PM 180C



                        HH 125 EZ - impressive little fluxcore only unit

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          As far as I know the Stickmate and Tbolt are the only 2 units identical with a different jacket. I like the small feeder lineup Hobart has, as good as any.
                          http://www.facebook.com/cary.urka.urkafarms

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Billyjoe seems like a poster who enjoys "talking through his hat".

                            I wonder how many of the Hobart mig welders he's really run.
                            SundownIII

                            Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
                            Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
                            MM 251 w/30 A SG
                            HH 187 Mig
                            XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
                            Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
                            Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
                            Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
                            PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
                            Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
                            More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
                            Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
                            Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
                            Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
                            Miller BWE and BWE Dig

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I know the blue ones are assembled by Smurfs. I don't know about the white and orange ones. Pixies?
                              --- RJL ----------------------------------------------

                              Ordinarily I'm insane, but I have lucid moments when I'm merely stupid.
                              -------------------------

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