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Miller and Hobart

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  • Miller and Hobart

    We all have our preferences no matter what product world we are looking at, but as I plan the purchase of my first MIG I have spent quite a bit of time on both Miller's and Hobart's sites and forums. And I have learned a lot from you guys (and gals). And each brand has a loyal following. And, I do mean loyal.

    If we are comparing close machines from both camps, such as rated output, duty cycle... Is there really a difference in machine quality or features? They are both from the same parent comapny.

    I know Craftsman and Companion came from the same house but Craftsman was superior quality. You can do the same with refrigerators, sewing machines. Same parent, different logos, one meybe better than the other.

    I also know that if I pose this same question on the Miller site I will get a 180 degree position.

    Is there really a difference? At this time for me it is going to be mm180 or hh210, and hh210 is ahead by a nose. I just don't want to buy something that maybe of lesser quality for the sake of a little more power. Please forgive my bluntness. If I didn't think Hobart was of good quality I wouldn't have gotten far enough to ask you guys, biased or not. But I'd like to hear some opinions.

  • #2
    Tony understand several of us on here who own Hobart products, also own or have owned Miller products.

    The following components in the HH 210, HH 187, and MM 180 are the same: the filter cap, fan motor, rectifier assembly, spool hub, drive rolls, gun (minus back end machine connection), gas solenoid valve, and the work clamp and cable to name a few.

    Also, the design of the transformer or choke (arc stabilizer) maybe different, but the materials used to construct these component are the same.
    Last edited by Dan; 11-18-2007, 05:33 PM.
    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


    • #3
      That is exactly the way I'm starting to feel. I think I'm not comparing apples and apples, but comparing an apple to the same apple.
      In other industries manufacturers hit the marketplace with different offerings under different logos which essentially competes with themselves, but bottom line in the long run it also collectively results in a larger market share. I think it's marketing and nothing more and that I can't go wrong with either color, as long as I select the machine that meets my needs and criteria.


      • #4
        I can certainly not offer the depth of knowledge on the various brands as Dan and others here can. I did go and read what was written in the thread your started on the Miller site. Some of it is pure nonsense, as other posters responded. Anyone who tells me that a Hobart is "all plastic" or that one brand is a toy and the other is a serious machine, is obviously exaggerating, and I will take the rest of his comments with a grain of salt. I put them in the same category as used car salesmen, or LWS employees who tell you the Hobart welders they sell at TSC or NT are different quality than the ones you buy from his store.

        I think you have to decide what quality is, and how much you need. I haven't heard of a lot of Hobarts falling apart in hobby use of even in the work environments some people here subject them to. If you are going to use the machine in a production environment, then you need a machne with a high duty cycle. If you are going to whack the face of the machine with a hammer repeatedly you may not want a plastic face (or a metal one either).

        To me what is more important is how the welder welds, since I expect to own a Hobart or Miller for the rest of my life,and I don't expect either one to fall apart in that time. Seeing the welds Dan has done with the 187 and reading his comments about how sweetly it welds, convince me its a great design (probably even better than its Miller counter part except for duty cycle). The designer of these machines have some latitude on things like inductance, core design etc, that affects the way it welds. None of that is stuff you would see by looking at the machine. Reading others comments about the HH 210 give me similar impressions. I doubt as a beginner I could tell the difference for many years.

        When I was trying to decide between a Hobart or a Clarke, I went and looked at the machines. I talked to people who owned both and did what I wanted to do with them. I found people who liked both, so I knew I had to make up my own mind. In the end I decided to go with the Hobart because I liked the looks of the drive mechanism better. You might be able to make a similar decision if you looked and touched (or better yet) used the machines you are interested in.

        I wear a Timex Ironman watch. I have had it for about 10 years. Is it as high a quality watch as a Rolex - No, but I don't really need that kind of quality and I would rather spend my money on other big boys' toys. In other words, you only need as much "quality" as you need to do the job.

        I don't think you can go wrong with either machine, but some people are just not happy if they don't own a Caddillac, so go with what will keep you happy. It's only money and according to Al Gore and the UN its going to be too hot to weld in 20 years anyway.
        Last edited by smyrna5; 11-18-2007, 06:40 PM.
        Lincoln 175HD
        Miller Thunderbolt AC/DC
        Smith AW1, Dillon (Henrob) Mark III & Smith Quickbraze Little Torch


        • #5
          I can't possibly agree with you more, and I applaud you for taking the time to read my thread on the other site. I don't know a lot of people in the industry to talk with, and you guys are my only source of real information. It's not hard to parse out the pious ones. Now the decision I must make is which is the most machine I can buy, that will satisfy my needs, within my budget, and that will be portable from an input power source - irregardless of whether it's blue or white. It will be one or the other.
          Thank you all so much. I believe that I have beat this comparison thing between brands enough to accept that the quality exists on both sides. My decision is no longer based on a brand comparison between the two. That criteria is gone. Now it's specific to me.

          Touche' guys. What a great forum this is.
          Soon I will be a mig owner and will be asking questions from an entirely different perspective. Stay tuned.